Quiet force Lindgren shines

Quiet force Lindgren shines

Rasmus Lindgren is a quiet force. The Swede has almost silently won a place in Ajax's midfield. Lindgren played a major role in the 6-2 victory of Ajax against Sparta.

After 31 minutes of the match between Ajax and Sparta, Rasmus Lindgren fires the ball into the Sparta goal. Unintentionally, goalkeeper Sander Westerveld has brought the Ajax player into scoring position. After a shot by Albert Luque, the ball caroms off the body of Westerveld to end up right before Lindgren, who does not hesitate and makes it 3-0..

The hard worker was a reliable midfield player for 90 minutes. And because his fellow midfielders also played a fine match, the Ajax midfield was in great shape this Friday. Gabri was a valuable as his Swedish colleague, and the more offensive-minded Kenneth Perez scored and privided good crosses and touches. ,,Our midfield has been playing well for the last two weeks, that's why I did not make any changes in that line against Sparta'', Adrie Koster said. ,,Rasmus Lindgren again played well today.’’ Edgar Davids is the 'victim' for now. The captain was suspended for the last two games, but this time he watched from the bench for the entire match against Sparta.

In the Amsterdam ArenA, Feyenoord were outplayed, but a week later Ajax lost at Roda JC. Despite the inconsistent results, the Ajax midfield made a solid impression the past two matches. Against Sparta, the central line was both a calming element and the starting point for many attacks. Lindgren, just as the other midfielders, was effective on both ends of the pitch. With his first goal as an Ajax player, he capped off a good performance.

,,It was great to score my first goal in the Ajax kit’’, said Lindgren. ,,The goalkeeper released the ball and I was able to put it in. After the goal, it all felt a bit easier. I am happy that it's going well.’’

The home side took a 5-1 lead in the first half. John Heitinga did what he had never done before as a football player: score two goals in one match. Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Kenneth Perez scored the other goals for Ajax, who went quiet in the second half. Only Kenneth Perez added a goal after halftime.

Despite his strong performance, Lindgren also acknowledged the flaws in Ajax's game. ,,The second half was not good enough, we should have scored more. We did not defend well, we should have put them under more pressure.’’

Koster agreed with his midfielder. ,,It was a match with two faces’’, Koster said. ,,If you take a big lead early on, you have to push through. Unfortunately we let up. We were more worried about ourselves, than trying to run up the score. The second half simply was not good enough.’’