The first half of Emmen - Ajax was a game of cat and mouse with Ajax in the role of the cat. Emmen were lucky to be down only 4-0 at halftime. In the second half, Ajax eased up a little.
Coach Henk ten Cate was pleased with his team's performance. He had seen his squad put the opponent under great pressure and play a great transition game after the ball had been captured. When Mauro Rosales headed in a corner by Wesley Sneijder, it was the result of Ajax chasing Emmen all the way back and the home side could do nothing else but play the ball over the end line.
The second Ajax goal also was the product of the training sessions from the past weeks. Ajax captured the ball, Mauro Rosales found striker Markus Rosenberg and he touched it to Wesley Sneijder who scored.
After three good chances in three minutes, Thomas Vermaelen made it 0-3 after yet another corner kick. Robbert Schilder was the recipient of a fine pass by Sneijder and he made it 0-4 right before halftime.
,,I was very pleased with our first half'', said Ten Cate. ,,Our positional play was good and the goals were 'trained situations'. In the second half, we eased up, also because of the big lead we had. The fact that I took off Jaap Stam also played a part, as did the many substitutions. I think the guys were a bit tired, as most of them trained hard this morning. And then there was the heat. This is no weather for playing football. But altoghether I think we did well. we hardly gave them any chances. The first thing is to get the defence in order. And I don't mean just the last line, you play defence with the whole team.''
Ajax still created enough chances in the second half. But only Jan Vertonghen and Klaas Jan Huntelaar converted them. ,,We're not there yet, but we are on the right way'', said Ten Cate. ,,Every time it is a little better.''