,,An incredible match", Johnny Heitinga said of the game against ADO Den Haag. He did not refer to his team, who comfortably won 4-1 in The Hague, but his own match, that lasted an hour. ,,Everything possible happened. I started, scored my first goal for Ajax 1 and was sent off."
In The Hague, Jari Litmanen made his first start for Ajax since the league match against De Graafschap last season. As Ajax's right midfielder, Litmanen played his 250th official match for Ajax. He was taken off after an hour. ,,That is as long as he could play at this stage", Ronald Koeman said.
Litmanen did not play a leading role against ADO Den Haag, but Johnny Heitinga did. Ronald Koeman had decided two days earlier that the talented youngster would be Ajax's central defender in the next few weeks. But Heitinga, who has come back from a serious knee injury, will be suspended the next match, as he was given two yellow cards in 'his' match.
But first Heitinga erased an early deficit. ADO player Stroeve scored after careless defending by Ajax. Heitinga headed in the equaliser from a corner by Wesley Sneijder. Despite the fact that Ajax had several more chances to score, the teams were level at halftime: 1-1.
Early in the second half Wesley Sneijder, who played a part in all of Ajax's goals, made it 1-2 after a fabulous back-heel pass by Zlatan Ibrahimovic. After Litmanen had been taken off and Heitinga had been sent off, his second yellow coming after a clear dive by Hofstede, Sneijder returned the favour. His free kick found Ibrahimovic, who struck from close range: 1-3.
Koeman brought on Petri Pasanen for more defensive stability in Heitinga's absence. Ibrahimovic went off. But despite being reduced to ten Ajax were in control. Sneijder sent away Victor Sikora, Mitea's replacement, and the winger did not hesitate when faced with goalkeeper Jansen: 1-4.
With PSV losing two points against RBC (1-1), Ajax lead the table three points ahead of Az and four ahead of PSV.