Prior to the clash, Ajax did not hope for a 0-0 draw. Yet, Adrie Koster thought his team deserved a compliment. ,,We did all we could to win."
If they won, Ajax would have been all the way back in the title race. If Ajax lost, PSV were virtually sure to repeat again as champions. Nobody talked about a draw beforehand, but that was the result in Eindhoven on Wednesday: 0-0. Ajax did have the initiative most of the time, but did not succeed in besting PSV's defence. With five matches remaining, the difference is still four points. ,,It does get more difficult'', Adrie Koster said. ,,We have to win all our matches and they still have to draw twice.”
No goals in Eindhoven, but it still was a fascinating match. Ajax, who missed Gabri, Siem de Jong and Maarten Stekelenburg, began on the attack. With Leonardo, Luis Suarez and Klaas Jan Huntelaar as the forwards and Urby Emanuelson in an offensive role on the left flank, Ajax had the initiative from the start.
Ajax had their chances in the first 45 minutes. In the 38th minute, with Huntelaar and Bruno Silva involved, Suarez scored, from a touch by Huntelaar, but the goal was disallowed for offside. In the second half Ajax began well. Suarez was found by Jan Vertonghen, but the Uruguayan forward was stopped by goalkeeper Gomes. Not much later, Leonardo went by Dirk Marcellis, but the Brazilian struck into the ground instead of hitting the ball. With Kenneth Perez and Dennis Rommedahl on for Suarez and Leonardo, Koster hoped to force a decision in the final fifteen minutes. ,,We lacked the power to push through”, the coach said after the match. However, Koster was pleased with his team's effort. ,,I have to pay the team a compliment. The guys fought for what they were worth. We did all we can, but it wasn't enough to win."
Down four points with five matches to play. It is a heavy task. But if one remembers last season; Ajax were down five points with five matches remaining...