On Sunday afternoon, Ajax had no problems disposing of arch-rival Feyenoord. After a lively first half, the score was 4-0. The leader wasn’t as productive in the second half. Hakim Ziyech, Nico Tagliafico, David Neres and Donny van de Beek scored the only goals of the match.
Coach Erik ten Had had made one change after the mid-week Champions League loss to Chelsea. David Neres started, at the expense of new father Edson Álvarez.
It usually doesn’t matter how Ajax or Feyenoord are doing during the season; the Classic is its own match. But it was different this year. The Rotterdam team is having a disappointing season so far and Ajax is blasting on all cylinders. That difference was clear in this 188th meeting between the rivals.
Still, coach Erik ten Hag thought it could be a tough game. Ajax was so efficient in the first few minutes that the score was 2-0 by the 7th minute. Hakim Ziyech opened the score in the 3rd minute and Nico Tagliafico scored the 2-0 four minutes later. After that, Quincy Promes and Dusan Tadic could have, and perhaps should have, brought the score to 4-0.
Neres scores the 3-0
But that didn't happen, because the excited Feyenoord had regained their faith. Just for a few minutes, though…David Neres sent a beautiful pass to Tadic for the 3-0, and five minutes later, Donny van de Beek sent the ball past former Ajacied Kenneth Vermeer: 4-0. A standing ovation followined, and chanting of ‘ten, ten, ten’ followed when the halftime whistle blew.
There was less theatre in the second half. No goal came in front of the hard-core supporters despite chances for Neres, Van de Beek and Ziyech on a free kick.
Nonetheless, it was a beautiful afternoon for Ajax. PSV had lost 0-4 to AZ, and Ajax won by 4-0. They lead by 6 points in the rankings!