Ajax lost their first league match at home. In the Amsterdam ArenA sc Heerenveen won: 0-1. Thomas Vermaelen was sent off. The first place in the league table is getting out of sight.
Ajax wanted revenge for the away loss at Heerenveen in October (5-2) and the team started well. With Vurnon Anita as a surprising starter the home side put Heerenveen under pressure, although Ajax created few chances. We began well and dominated the game'', said Marco van Basten. ,,But the last pass was not good enough.'' The one time the last pass was good, Miralem Sulejmani's strike was saved by goalkeeper Brian Vandenbussche. The efforts in the first half drained Ajax's energy. ,,In the last part of the first half, it became somewhat chaotic, also because of the quick counter attacks by Heerenveen. At halftime we said that we had to get organised'', Van Basten said. But all plans went out the door minutes into the second half. Roy Beerens broke through and Thomas Vermaelen brought him down. He was shown a red card by referee Luinge. ,,A big setback", Van Basten said. ,,But we still tried to take the initiative, even with ten. The guys worked very hard, I have to give them a compliment for that." Heerenveen, however, was the team to score. In the 59th minute Danijel Pranjic struck with a free kick. Luis Suarez came close to equalising, but the forward found Vandenbussche in his way. ,,It obviously was not a good night for Ajax", Van Basten said. ,,We have lost two games in a row now." But the coach is not ready to give up. ,,There are fourteen mmatches to play and that means there are 42 points to be won. As long as there is a possibility to win the title, we are not giving up.''