Ajax had a superb Sunday afternoon against Feyenoord. After the final whistle blew in the Amsterdam ArenA, the remarkable score of 5-1 graced the scoreboard. Demy de Zeeuw crowned his first Ajax-Feyenoord showdown with two goals. Emanuelson, Van der Wiel and Suarez rounded off the handful of Ajax goals. Landzaat scored the opponent’s only goal. Feyenoord ended the duel with nine players on field due to two red cards.
A victory over Feyenoord is always extra sweet - especially when it’s a thrashing. The crowd rewarded Ajax with enthusiastic cheering to thank them for a great afternoon of football.
The 51.028 fans in the ArenA had a lot to enjoy, especially during the second half of this “Klassieker”. The 1-0 score at halftime – courtesy of Demy de Zeeuw, on a pass from Pantelic – put the wind in Ajax’s sails to start the second half. The red card for Feyenoord’s Babovic, one minute after De Zeeuw’s goal, gave Ajax a numeric advantage after half time.
It needs to be said that Feyenoord came close to scoring the match’s opening goal twice, midway through the first 45 minutes. Ron Vlaar’s long shot hit the post, and later, his header was caught by Stekelenburg. One minute before the goal, Pantelic made an attempt on a pass by De Zeeuw, but his shot hit the post.
When play resumed, Ajax immediately were on top of their game. “We were ambitious in the second half”, said Jol. He called out Emanuelson’s “fantastic goal”, which doubled Ajax’s lead in the 47th minute. The Ajax player clearly was on a roll after his two goals in the Cup match against FC Dordrecht last Thursday. In this match, he scored on a pass from Vurnon Anita to make it 2-0. On the bounce, he finished the attack that he had started himself, with a strong left footed shot into the goal.
Under the watchful eye of Thomas Vermaelen, who bid farewell to Ajax and the supporters during halftime, and national team coach Bert van Marwijk, Ajax pushed ahead. Van der Wiel and De Zeeuw each had opportunities, with long range shots, to score the third goal, but it was Van der Wiel who made good in the 58th minute. The Ajax defender’s offensive plays were rewarded with a goal, which, just like Emanuelson’s, was the result of his own initiative of creating a combination with a team mate – Pantelic, in this case. The Serbian player’s return pass to the Dutch international landed squarely in the goal: 3-0.
With half an hour remaining on the clock, several candidates tried to contribute to the score of this superb edition of the “Klassieker”. Suarez made a few attempts, and Pantelic also came close. Before halftime, his shot had hit the post, but twenty minutes before the end, he almost headed Suarez’ pass past keeper Rob van Dijk, but instead hit the crossbar.
In the midst of all of these Ajax goals, Feyenoord also scored in the 74th minute. Denny Landzaat took a shot from just outside the box which went over Stekelenburg. But the Feyenoord goal wasn’t the game’s last. De Zeeuw, honoured as the game’s Man of the Match, crowned his first Feyenoord duel with a second goal. Pantelic made the winning pass for the third time. The Ajax midfielder placed a right footed shot into the Feyenoord goal: 4-1.
Jol was satisfied that although he didn’t score himself, Pantelic participated in three goals. “I’m happy that he was involved with three goals this afternoon. He added a lot of value.”
Suarez had a great moment towards the end. The Uruguayan player, who was pointedly reminded in the pre-game show that he had never scored against Feyenoord, grabbed his chance. In an ultimate attempt to outplay keeper Van Dijk, the Ajax captain was charged by the goalie. The subsequent red card for the keeper, and penalty for Ajax, gave Suarez a golden opportunity to finally score against Feyenoord.
Suarez – eye to eye with substitute keeper Erwin Mulder – made good on his penalty shot, which brought a smile to the captain’s face. Celebrating his personal triumph, but most of all his team’s victory, he stepped off the field contented. The important matches to come – against Dinamo Zagreb (Europa League) and League leader FC Twente (Sunday) – can be faced with confidence.