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Victorious Ajax weakened after battle against PSV

Victorious Ajax weakened after battle against PSV

Ajax has won its home game against PSV by 1-0.  One goal by Quincy Promes was enough to secure the win.  But there was also bad news on Erik ten Hag’s 50th birthday.  Promes, Joel Veltman and Ryan Babel all left the game, injured.

Ajax had a lot to make up for after its 2-1 loss last week in Groningen, and initially it was believed that PSV, seeming unsteady and whose players are not currently in their best form, could be the ideal opponent against whom to build up some confidence. 

And indeed, Ajax played a good first half.  The only area for improvement would be the sloppiness in the final passes.  There was no shortage of scoring opportunities against a lackluster PSV in the first half: Quincy Promes, Sergiño Dest, Ryan Babel, Donny van de Beek and Dusan Tadic all had at least one opportunity to score before the 20 minute-mark.

Quincy goes 1 on 1 against PSV
It took until the 35th minute, however, for Ajax to crown its dominance with a goal. A ball poorly sent out by the otherwise outstanding Lars Unnerstall was grabbed by Van de Beek.  The Ajacied then had the space and freedom to go through deep into the Eindhomven penalty area.  PSV blocked him at that point, but the ball landed with Promes, who scored his fourth goal in four games against PSV: 1-0.

Veltman and Promes injured

After this goal, PSV seemed to realise that they wouldn’t achieve anything in Amsterdam without taking a chance, and the team perked up somewhat towards the Ajax defense, in which Perr Schuurs had replaced the injured Joel Veltman in the 30th minute.  But it was Ajax who came close to scoring the 2-0 goal when a searing shot by Dest was barely saved out of the upper corner by Unnerstall.  In the first half’s extra time, Ajax’s goal-scorer Promes sustained a hamstring injury…

Although Ajax came out of the starting block well with a shot on goal from Van de Beek, things went downhill in the second half.  A new injury after an hour of play (Babel) seemed to dampen the team’s spirit.  The players were unable to find each other, and PSV enjoyed new faith that they could make something happen.

Exciting until the very end

At the start of extra time, Tadic and substitute Lassina Traoré could have decided the game, but the combination struck out in front of the goal.  So, strangely enough, the game remained exciting until the very end when Unnerstall came out to the front.  Ajax escaped unscathed and took a 3 point-lead against second placed AZ.