Frank de Boer summarized on Sunday, shortly after the home win against FC Twente (4-2), the areas in which Ajax had gained ground. “We’re on our way up again”, said De Boer with satisfaction after the match in which Ajax won both points and confidence.
“In the first half, Ajax and Twente were reasonably well-matched”, Ajax’s coach opened the post-game press conference in the ArenA’s press room. De Boer saw the two fighters exchange good moments. The home team converted an early 0-1 deficit into a 2-1 halftime lead, which certainly created confidence. “Unfortunately, we didn’t come out strong at the start of the second half, or perhaps, it was Twente who did come out strong”, said De Boer, giving the Tukkers their due credit. Hakim Ziyech helped the visitors pull even again five minutes into the second half: 2-2. “We weren’t able to come up with any good response in this phase of the game.”
De Boer saw his team come up with the winning formula in the last quarter of the entertaining competition match. Ajax thus posted much more than simply a win which reinforced their hold on second place in the rankings. “It gave us wings”, the coach described this phase during which the Amsterdam team restored order. Ajax sped towards the victory full of conviction. “We showed good football. Football that brings people to the stadium.”
Two goals by Kishna secured the win (68th and 75th minute) for Ajax. In addition to his scoring chops, Kishna, thanks to his threatening play, earned the title of Man of the Match. In addition to the left forward, De Boer also saw another outstanding player. Richedly Bazoer was very strong as right midfielder. “Kishna deserved the Man of the Match honours”, explained De Boer. “But if I could have chosen two players for the title, I would have added Bazoer. In terms of age he’s still U19, but today he played with calm and control.”
The Ajax coach also explained that he substituted Davy Klaassen as a precaution. Joël Veltman himself indicated that it would be better to substitute him in the first half. The defender is a question mark for the first UEFA Europa League match against Legia Warsaw this Thursday.
With this 4-2 win, Ajax has done very well in the fight for second place. The gap with leader PSV remains a whopping twelve points. The lead on closest followers Feyenoord and AZ (eight points) must be maintained. “I’m satisfied with the outcomes this weekend, but it’s a shame that PSV won. In any case, we’ve taken a good step in terms of second place. I’m satisfied with how we played. We’re on our way up again. But we need to keep fighting hard.”