First competition match in the ArenA ends with Ajax celebration



First competition match in the ArenA ends with Ajax celebration

Ajax experienced a trouble-free game leading up to the Champions League match against PAOK.  In the Johan Cruijj ArenA, FC Emmen was wiped away, 5-0.  Goals by Donny van de Beek, Hakim Ziyech, Klaas Jan Huntelaar (2x) and Dusan Tadic raised cheers from the stands.  In addition to that, Tadic matched a record from 1994 and Huntelaar reached a nice milestone!

Around 50.000 fans made their return to the Eredevisie for Ajax’s first competition game at home.  In the past two years, Ajax had not managed to win (Roda JC 2-2, Heracles 1-1).  Erik ten Hag’s team knew that it needed to do better this year, and succeeded with flying colors.

Tadic matches record
It was a special game for the scoring Tadic.  Ajax’s brand new captain managed to score in 11 consecutive home games, evening Jari Litmanen’s Eredivisie record from 1994.

Swift start
Ten Hag made two changes after the tied game against PAOK (2-2): Kasper Dolberg and Perr Schuurs made way for Razvan Marin and David Neres.  The latter was making his first appearance on the squad this season, and made his presence felt immediately.

After just 40 seconds, the wing forward hit the post after a nice attack via Ziyech and Tadic.  The Emmen team had been warned.  After six minutes, the Brazilian player came close to scoring once again.  A cross-pass by Ziyech set Neres up 1 on 1 with keeper Telgenkamp, who prevailed.

1-0  Donny!
For a short while, it was quiet in front of Emmen’s goal.  But that changed in the 26th minute when Van de Beek sent a heel-ball to Neres, who then found Ziyech.  The Moroccan player’s shot went just wide of the goal.  One minute later, the goal came.   Van de Beek was freed up and shot the ball neatly into the goal: 1-0!

Strong second half
After the break, Ajax took control again and doubled the score.  A beautiful attack across several axes was made good by Ziyech.  After that, Ajax took the 3-0 lead in the 66th minute: substitute Quincy Promes first hit the post, but Tadic was able to deflect the ball into an empty goal.  With this goal, the captain had officially tied the record: scoring in 11 consecutive games at home!

In the final 10 minutes, substitute Huntelaar scored twice, setting the final score: 5-0!  It was his 350th and 351st goals of his club career.  But most importantly: Ajax had a great rehearsal for the Champions League qualifying game against PAOK.  The teams kick off on Tuesday at 20:30 in the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Score summary  Ajax – FC Emmen: 27. Van de Beek 1-0, 47. Ziyech 2-0, 66. Tadic 3-0, 80. Huntelaar 4-0, 88. Huntelaar 5-0.

Line up Ajax: Onana; Mazraoui (54. Dest), Veltman, Martinez, Tagliafico; Blind, Marin, Van de Beek; Neres (59. Promes), Tadic (71. Huntelaar), Ziyech.