Ronald Koeman's experience as coach of Ajax is mainly that you have the feeling that you are in control, but in the end you lose by 1-0. The coach hoped beforehand that it would be different this time, but in Turin all was still the same. Zalayeta scored and Juventus put the game on ice. ,,Very frustrating'', said coach Koeman.
Koeman picked Ryan Babel as his striker. The 17-year-old got picked before the more experienced Yannis Anastasiou. ,,I thought he could provide more danger with his moves and his speed up front'', Koeman explained. One time, Babel was dangerous, when he fired from distance ten minutes after halftime. The ball went high over the goal.
Another plus for the Ajax boss was the play of Julien Escudé and Zdenek Grygera in the heart of Ajax's defence. ,,They occasionally even played one-on-one in the back'', said Koeman. ,,And they did that very well.''
Juventus had taken the lead after only fifteen minutes. Maxwell committed a serious mistake in the back and Camoranesi could serve his teamate Zabayala for the only goal.,, You could see that it hurt Maxwell the most; he did not play well. It happened, but it shouldn't, not at this level'',,said Koeman.
The Ajax boss saw also how the home side could have got a few red cards. ,,Montero should have seen red in the situation with Van der Vaart and the same goes for Camoranesi a bit later. The fourth oifficial did not have the courage to indicate it. That's when you see the power of such a big club. It just gets waved off.''
It left the Ajax players with only one chance to secure European football after the winter break. That is beating Bayern München in Amsterdam. ,,It's still in our own hands'', said Koeman. ,,And then we should hope that Juventus do their duty against Tel-Aviv. We have at least to draw with Bayern. And we would deserve that.''