Ajax restarted their league season with a 6-1 win against AZ. Edgar Davids, Kenneth Perez and Leonardo, who all returned to Ajax 1, gave their team a great boost.
With Davids, Perez and Leonardo, the three players are named that Ajax lacked during the first half of the season. Kenneth Perez came back to Ajax from PSV and he provided the creativity that was lacking in midfield. The Dane scored from a spot kick and gave an assist to Klaas Jan Huntelaar. Davids, the contolling midfielder with vision, was also valuable for his team, which he captained. Davids', and on the other side Gabri's, presence allowed Perez the necessary freedom, which in turn frees up the other Ajax players. Leonardo showed that Ajax have another dangerous forward and he gives coach Adrie Koster even more options in offence. Leo scored the 5-1 against AZ and that was his reward for many months of hard rehabilitation after a serious knee injury.
Compared to Ajax's last performance of 2007, away at VVV-Venlo, the spirit in the team is back. The veterans take charge. Huntelaar was one of the beneficiaries, and Holland's top goalscorer added two more goal to his production.
But the result was not reached as easy as the score indicates. After five minutes AZ took the lead when Ari scored. Ajax did not begin well.
But the home side bounced back. Defender Jan Vertonghen fired in the equaliser and the tide turned even further when Demy de Zeeuw was red-carded after he stopped a header by Huntelaar on the goalline with his hand. Perez converted the resulting spot kick: 2-1.
Against ten opponents, Ajax went on and never looked back. Huntelaar made it 3-1 from a cross by Perez, Kennedy (4-1), substitute Leonardo (5-1) and again Huntelaar did the rest.
,,My team needed this boost’’, Adrie Koster said. ,,We were confident that we would get a good result. Leonardo, Perez and Davids provided the impulses. Davids and Perez are very important to this team. Today, I saw passes I haven't seen all year. Others follow suit. Kennedy for instance was reborn. After De Zeeuw's red card the match was ours. I saw great goals out there.’’