Ajax got off to a flying start against Willem II. Six goals and the return of Ryan Babel later, the home team left the pitch with a feeling of satisfaction. Ajax ended a difficult period with a 6-0 win in the Amsterdam ArenA.
The contrast between Willem II coach Dennis van Wijk and Ajax boss Henk ten Cate could not have been bigger after the lopsided match. Ajax took an early lead and within 20 minutes were up 3-0. The goals by Zdenek Grygera (header), Urby Emanuelson (shot) and Nicolae Mitea (volley) all had one thing in common: right winger Tom de Mul set up the three goals. With a great bicycle kick Klaas Jan Huntelaar even made it 4-0 after 23 minutes, effectively ending the match. When the forward struck again in the last minute of the first half, Ajax went into the dressing room with a 5-0 advantage. ,,We made maximum use of the possibilities in the first half’’, said Ten Cate.
Ten Cate looked back with a good feeling. Van Wijk's facial expression showed that the Willem II coach had one of the more difficult afternoons of his career. Van Wijk said his players had been impressed with the opponent and the Amsterdam ArenA too much. ,,During the warmg-up I already had a bad feeling about that’’, he said. ,,On this level you can't be impressed by the circumstances. The only good thing is that we could only lose three points today.’’ Ten Cate: ,,The most important thing is that we end a turbulent period with this win. I want to look ahead now. We needed this victory as a group.’’
Ajax began the second half with Michael Krohn-Dehli on for Thomas Vermaelen. Fifteen minutes into the half, Jaap Stam was also taken off as a precaution. George Ogararu replaced him.
The goalscoring machine did not run as smoothly after halftime. Three minutes after Ryan Babel's return, man of the match Tom de Mul scored the only goal of the second half: 6-0. ,,I am really happy with the return of Ryan Babel’’, said Ten Cate. ,,You saw immediately what an impact he has. I am satisfied with the match as a whole. Also because it is our biggest win of the season.’’