Classic win gives confidence

Classic win gives confidence

Ajax were superior against Feyenoord in the ArenA on Sunday. The opponent from Rotterdam was outplayed and defeated by 3-0. ,,This gives us a lot of confidence'', coach Adrie Koster said.

Plaing in the Classic is good, winning the Classic is even better, but being superior in the Classic is the best. Ajax were the latter in the ArenA on Sunday. In front of 50,000 joyous fans, Ajax outplayed Feyenoord at every juncture. The 3-0 score could even have been higher if the home side had made better use of the many chances it got. Feyenoord's coach Bert van Marwijk had difficulty getting to grips with the result. ,,I have never experienced anything like this”, the disappointed coach said. ,,We were humiliated and we created nothing.”

It quickly became clear that Ajax wanted to put up a show for the home fans. With Rasmus Lindgren in starting lineup (he replaced the suspended Edgar Davids), Adrie Koster's team had the first big chance in the first minute. Klaas Jan Huntelaar was found by Kenneth Perez, but saw his shot being saved by Henk Timmer. ,,From that moment on, we were really into it”, Adrie Koster said. ,,The supporters got into the game immediately.” In the eighth minute, Ajax scored. John Heitinga, who played his 200th official match, received the ball from Luis Suarez, moved through the Feyenoord defence and struck: 1-0.

After the first goal, Ajax were dominant. There were some chances for Huntelaar, but the final pass often was too hard or not precise enough. The striker crossed the ball to Suarez after 30 minutes, but the Uruguayan forward (who was taken off at halftime for Dennis Rommedahl) fired the bal over the goal from close range. Gabri made sure that Ajax's lead was doubled before the end of the first half. He went past two defenders and crossed the ball to Huntelaar, who headed the ball in the back of the net: his 20th league goal.

Thanks to outstanding work by the Ajax defence (Silva, Heitinga, Vermaelen, Vertonghen) Feyenoord had next to no chances in both halves. Ajax had plenty of opportunities to widen the gap, but the team lacked precision in finishing the attacks. ,,I think we had seven real chances between the 55th and 70th minute'', Koster said. ,,We should have kept a better eye out for each other. The goal difference is also important in this stage of the competition.”

Ajax did manage to score one more before the final whistle. Rasmus Lindgren lobbed the ball to Huntelaar, who made it 3-0. ,,A nice, important win”, Koster said. ,,We kept the gap with PSV from getting wider. This gives us a lot of confidence.” His colleague Bert van Marwijk praised John Heitinga during the press conference. ,, If you see how Heitinga 'lives' this match, we can learn something from that.”

Ajax passed Heerenveen in the league table again. They are now in second place, eight points behind PSV.