In the 2009/2020 season, Emanuelson was part of the team with players like Luis Suarez, Marko Pantelic, Demy de Zeeuw, Toby Alderweireld and Jan Vertonghen. Despite the vast goal difference, the Amsterdam-based squad missed out on the league title. "We started too late, I think", Emanuelson laughs. "To me, it was a great team to play in. Especially the home matches were amazing. The team and all facets completed each other, which made us strong."
The streak Martin Jol's team had was strong, and from Roda JC home on February 2, 2010, until the last playing day, all matches were won. On March 14, 2010, Ajax, in third place, hosted number two, PSV. "We were in a good flow, and we felt that. We could taste the opponent’s fear when we played at home. If we scored early, we often scored many goals in the ArenA."
Siem de Jong gave Ajax an early lead. In the 43rd minute, Marko Pantelic was sent deep. From a difficult angle, the Serbian striker got the ball to Emanuelson via a stunning backheel. "I saw Marko run into the corner and wanted to help him." The left-footed player did not expect the backheel. "Because of the sliding, the ball came a bit unexpectedly. I had to react very quickly and start my action. I chose to go via the inside because that's where the space was."
Emanuelson rushed inside. "The ball landed in front of my right foot. I shot, and luckily, I hit it perfectly." The ball hit the far corner. "When I touched it, I knew enough. I passed the ball in front of me far enough to take my steps properly and hit the ball perfectly. It had to go to the far corner; that was my only chance at success. The emotional release at that moment was huge. Matches against PSV were always tough. To go into half-time with a 2-0 score was great."
With PSV at home coming up, Emanuelson is often reminded of his masterpiece. "I often see the goal on the socials, especially around the match. It's been a while. It’s about time better goals than mine are scored; I think the fans would like that, too", he says, smiling.
The current assistant coach of Ajax U23 touches upon Saturday's match. "The most important thing is to have faith and confidence. Ajax have to radiate that despite PSV's great shape. Try to dominate, just like the first half of this season in Eindhoven. Hunt them, play duels, and feed the supporters with that. Show that you want to win. That's what we always did at home. From the first minute, we showed that they didn’t stand a chance and tried to score as fast as we could. 'You won't win here', that should be Ajax's mindset on Saturday", Emanuelson concludes.