Ajax won its 34th title on Wednesday evening in Vijverberg. After a 1-2 halftime score, the Dutch record-holding champion won the title once again in an easy-going game.
Coach Erik ten Hag wanted to close an amazing season in style. So his strongest line-up played, with the necessary changes due to the fact that David Neres was still suffering from a hamstring injury and couldn’t be part of the squad. Klaas Jan Huntelaar was the centre forward.
Not in top gear
Ajax didn’t need to go into top gear at De Graafschap. The visitors selected their moments calmly, which led to opportunities for Daley Blind, Dusan Tadic, Donny van de Beek and Frenkie de Jong. It wasn’t until the 37th minute that keeper Nigel Bertrams was beaten. Lasse Schone scored the 0-1 goal from a beautiful free kick.
The lead was short-lived, as three minutes later, Youssef El Jebli had a free passage to the goal. But there was no cause for concern, and, just like in Sunday’s game against FC Utrecht, Ajax was in the lead at halftime. Nico Tagliafico, who had come up, scored on an assist from Hakim Ziyech, 1-2.
2 goals Tadic
But the edge has dulled somewhat for the biggest part of the second half. Opportunities did come for Ajax, but it wasn’t the spectacular shower of goals (8-0) which had occurred in the home game. Ten Hag sent in Rasmus Kristensen for Noussair Mazraoui, Kasper Dolberg for Lasse Schone, and Dani de Wit also played for fifteen minutes.
In the meantime, the score had increased to 1-3 thanks to a penalty kick made good by Dusan Tadic. With this goal, the Serb reached 27 goals, just one less than Luuk de Jong. But the 28th came. With a fiery shot, he evened the PSV players’ balance.
When Makkelie indicated 2 minutes of extra time, the Ajacieds were free, and it was symbolic to celebrate their 34th championship with a 1-4 win.