Discussion in 'TSL: Club Pages' started by Zikry, May 27, 2012.
Founded: March 18, 1900Ground: Amsterdam Arena (52,342)
Jan Vertonghen - (Center Back) Captain of the Ship in Ajax Vertonghen has quickly moved up the ranks to become one of the most important players of the club. Named Dutch Footballer of the Year in the 2012 season Jan has quickly become rumored to move onto bigger clubs such as Arsenal and Tottenham. However, for the time being he is the rock in the Ajax backline and will need to show consistency in his performances if Ajax are to thwart the dangerous attackers in Serie A. Theo Janssen - (Midfielder) Bought by Ajax at the beginning of the season from fellow Dutch team FC Twente, Janssen is the oldest of the starters in Ajax at 30. However, his leadership from the midfield will be crucial to any success by Ajax as he is the dynamo that makes this engine tick. His ability to pass the ball anywhere he pleases will be key; as well as his ability to shoot from distance as many Serie A games are compact and tightly contested affairs. Christian Eriksen - (Attacking Mid) A lot will rest on this young Danes' shoulders. The 20 year old has been talked about for years in Europe, but young Eriksen has vowed to stay at least one more year at Ajax. Expect most of the attacks to come from his side of the field as his mixture of speed and ability on the ball makes him the biggest attacking threat on the team. While he may not pile up the goals through the year, he will undoubtedly be the one opposing defenses will keep an eye on throughout the campaign.
Season 6 Schedule Released!
Preseason News Ajax have been working hard ever since they were chosen to participate in Serie A. This team might just be the biggest "unknown" in the whole league. Capable of beating anyone the team could be a title contender, however with the mental lapses shown by the coach's teams in the past, this team could also be battling relegation if things don't go their way. The team has worked hard in the preseason and has played a number of friendlies, with all of them yielding promising results. The team has been beaten once in the preseason (4-2 against Flamengo) but they were able to respond from that and even recorded a victory against Flamengo recently (2-1). The team had also faced Sunderland 3 times during their stay in England, beating them twice and drawing the last game. Victories over LA Galaxy, Aston Villa and Corinthians have also been a part of this busy preseason as the team looks to have finally found their best starting lineup after much tinkering early in the preseason. The team will continue to welcome any and all challengers to friendlies as the season is a little over 24 hours away. With games against Sunderland, Flamengo and Montpellier to open up Season 6 the team has been well trained and should know what to expect from Sunderland and Flamengo based on their friendlies. Only time will tell whether this team can battle for that elusive Serie A Championship that has eluded their new coach the past 5 seasons.
Ajax get two more friendlies in the books as defense gets 2 shutouts
Ajax 1 - 0 Spartak MoscowCagliari 0 - 4 Ajax 3 De Jong SuleimaniC. Eriksen3 C. EriksenV. Anita
Ajax vs Olympiakos
Siem De Jong continues to Shine as an Impact Sub 4 116 Shots 811 SOT 449% Possession 51%20 Tackles 251 0 C. Eriksen (5') LukakiS. de Jong (69') van der WielT. Janssen PK (79')Olympiakos - D. Fuster PK (81')S. de Jong (86') Suleimani Enoh
Ajax vs Sao Paulo
Siem de Jong Preseason Form Providing Headaches for Coaching Staff 2 012 Shots 39 SOT 155% Possession 45%25 Tackles 25 S. de Jong (17') C. EriksenS. de Jong (23') T. Janssen
Preseason Friendly: Late Vermeer Blunder Costly as Ajax fall in Moscow; 2-1 against Dinamo
Ajax vs Stuttgart El Hamdaoui plays role of "super sub" with a wondeful volleyed goal to settle the game 2 010 Shots 25 SOT 049% Possession 51%17 Tackles 18 C. Eriksen (48') LukakiM. El Hamdaoui (77') T. SerenoC. Eriksen
gg Frenchie1916 and good luck this season!
Ajax End Preseason Training with 3 Friendlies Just a day before the start of the season Ajax were able to close the preseason with 3 friendlies in quick succession. While the timing of these friendlies could be questioned, the results show that there is still a lot to do if the team is to be fighting for silverware this campaign. A game in Eindhoven against local rivals PSV ended in a 1-0 win; as de Jong was able to score yet again as the defense put up a shutout. Then, a game against CSKA at Amsterdam Arena saw the visitors take a 45' lead as van der Wiel lost his man, who was able to sprint past him and find the bottom corner to give the Russians the 1-0 advantage. Once again it was de Jong to the rescue as Janssen was able to find a hole in the defense, received a pass from Anita, before crossing the ball in towards de Jong for a 90' equalizer. The last game of the day saw Ajax play out a 2-2 draw against Parma, with the Italian side coming from behind twice to grab the draw. Eriksen put the Dutch team ahead after a mistake by the Italian keeper, before Floccari was able to level the scores in the 2nd half. Janssen put the Dutch team ahead yet again off a trademark freekick, before Giovinco was able to find some space in the 18 yard box and send in a cross to Floccari to level the game at the death. 3 games, 1 win, 2 draws. While the team can take solace at not being beaten, and the way they battled back to earn a draw against CSKA; the way they also threw away the win against Parma will be concerning. Heading into the first 3 games of the season the goal will be to remain unbeaten after this round of play and emerge with at least one W from the 3 games. If the defense can remain consistent then the team has every chance of doing so, but based on recent friendlies it looks like scoring goals this year will be a tough ask for the Dutch team.
Ajax vs Sunderland Vermeer to the rescue as Ajax attack lays another goose egg 0 04 Shots 73 SOT 541% Possession 59%18 Tackles 23 CS: Vermeer (Ajax) & Gordon (Sunderland)
Montpellier vs Ajax0 43 Shots 92 SOT 454% Possession 46%25 Tackles 26S. de Jong (17') M. SulejmaniM. Sulejmani (45') C. EriksenC. Eriksen (50') J. LukakiT. Alderweireld (54') T. JanssenT. JanssenCS: Vermeer (Ajax)Ajax expose Montpellier's "all out attack" style as Dutch side pick up first W of the season
Heading into this match the Dutch team knew what to expect. A hard pressing, offensive minded French team that was looking to pick up their first points of the season. Noticing their formation at the beginning of the match it was obvious that they were planning on lining up with 3 men in the back; and with Ajax deploying the 4-3-3, this meant that the wings could be used to great affect on the attacking side.
"I told my players to try and draw the defenders out of the middle by playing wide. This is our strength as a team and this was why a change in our lineup was made with Sulejmani moving from CM to RW, and de Jong replacing El Hamdaoui at striker. We needed someone who could beat their man one on one to the header and that is what Siem does really well"
de Jong showed his aerial prowess as Sulejmani was able to take the ball down the right flank before whipping it in with his weaker foot; allowing de Jong the chance to beat his man to the ball and head in Ajax's first goal of the young season and silence the French crowd.
Just before the half-time whistle Ajax were able to go 2 up as Cristian Eriksen found himself alone in front of goal, before passing it on to Sulejmani who was able to squeeze it past the French goalkeeper after making a complete mess when he first controlled the ball. "I thought the chance had gone" said Sulejmani "I can admit that I panicked but I was able to slide the ball past the goalkeeper and that's all that matters" Seeing that their wings were ripe for the picking, Ajax decided to bring on Lukaki at halftime for Sulejmani, which was a surprising decision given that he had recorded an assist and a goal in the first half of play. However, Lukaki was able to prove an immediate threat as he raced down the right hand side before sending in a delicious cross for Eriksen to head in; 3-0 to the visitors and the home crowd were getting restless. 4 minutes later the home crowd's misery was compounded as Janssen delivered in a corner and Alderweireld was able to rise above the Motpellier defense and head the ball in off the post. At 4-0 Montpellier tried to press even farther up the pitch but as the final whistle blew Ajax were able to celebrate in victory while the Montpellier coach was seen storming down the tunnel; unwilling to speak to anyone and everyone as he rushed towards the dressing room.
Ajax vs Flamengo0 06 Shots 94 SOT 540% Possession 60%21 Tackles 12Wellinton (Flamengo CB)CS: K. Vermeer (Ajax) & Felipe (Flamengo)Balanced Game Ends with Both Teams Sharing the Spoils in 0-0 DrawAmsterdam, NetherlandsThe season finally kicked off for Ajax as they welcomed Flamengo and their coach CxMacx10. Having played each other twice in friendly games both teams knew what to expect, and it showed this game as there were very few chances for both teams. El Hamdaoui had 2 chances open up to him in the first 10 minutes, but shot his first one woefully wide and had his second saved expertly by the Flamengo GK, Felipe. For the most part Ajax were able to hold Flamengo in check for the 1st half and looked to add some fresh legs up front at halftime by bringing in S. de Jong to replace Hamdaoui.
El Hamdaoui Shot Saved by Felipe (9')The Brazilian side controlled much of the 2nd half, putting Ajax on the back foot throughout the 45 minutes. In the 51st minute Ronaldinho stepped up for a freekick and placed it well, but Vermeer was up to the task parrying the ball away. Both teams will settle for their first points this campaign as even the most loyal of fans for either team couldn't argue that either team really deserved anything more.
Ronaldinho FK Parried Away by Vermeer (51')
Match Week 1 : Reflection On Ajax's day off their coach had a chance to field questions from the media about their start to season 6 amongst other things. "Would first like to thank the team for getting through the offseason without any problems. Switching from Aston Villa to Ajax has been an almost seamless transition and that is because of all the players, fans, and the rest of the coaching staff here. We had a hectic preseason where we tried to implement our system in before the start of the season and all the players were very receptive and eager to take a part." Q: How would you describe your start to the season? It seems like this year, more than any, the veteran coaches have all gotten off to a hot start in the league with the newer guys still taking time to adjust. "It's still very early to say. Looking at the table now it does seem the case that guys like shiftee and RedAL925 have started this season much different than last while Broncos218 picked up where he has left off. As for our play, we end the first 3 games undefeated and without conceding a goal. However, our offense has failed to score in 2 of the 3 games which is a worrying sign, however I will not place any blame on someone in particular. It is my job to make sure that my players are in the best possible situation for them to succeed and we are working twice as hard now to make sure that the team will have plenty of opportunities to create, and score, chances in the future. As for the new owners in the league, I am sure they will start to show their might sooner rather than later. IJGator is the only one of the 3 to have switched teams, and I am positive he will find a way down in Brazil to get the guys playing his type of game. I just hope it isn't until after we play them next week" Q: What exactly has been the reason behind your team's defensive performances? "I can't really point towards one particular thing. In the game against HokieNYC and his Sunderland team, Vermeer came up with a huge save in the 1st half against Bendtner while Alderweireld cleared a ball right off the line right at the death. Vermeer also came up huge against CxMacx10 and his Flamengo team when he was able to parry away a great free kick from Ronaldinho. However, the defense and midfield in front of him have also been great so far. The midfield trio, especially Enoh, have showed that they are more than willing to come back and help the defense, which has been a big reason for our defensive success so far" Q: The team still has a cup game to complete this week against Stuttgart. After facing them twice in the offseason what can you expect from that game? "We know what Frenchie1916 and his team are capable of. They are very capable defensively and will be a tough nut to crack. Combine that with this being the first game in the group for both our teams and I'm sure the German fans will be out in full force to support their team. We will need to be at our best in order to take all 3 points in the game and contrary to popular belief I will be playing my best 11 in that game. Reports have surfaced lately that the cup games will be used as a way to allow the second team to get some playing time but those reports are completely false. There are only 2 possible competitions to be won every season and we will be doing our best to be a contender in both."
Group C, Match 1VfB Stuttgart v Ajax1 Score 15 Shots 164 SOT 857% Poss. 43%17 Tackles 116 Fouls 10 00 00 Offsides 01 Corners 7Goals:52' C. Eriksen J. Lukoki69' M. Harnik W. KvistMOTM:C. Eriksen Ajax Left Frustrated as Stuttgart Defense Stands TallStuttgart, Germany Ajax give up their first goal of the season and in a game filled with chances, were unable to get through with the 3 points in their opening cup game. There were moments where the Ajax defense were stretched by the passing of Stuttgart who decided to play a lot of short chipped passes to great effect. After both teams had rattled the crossbar it was Ajax who struck first as Lukoki was able to find Eriksen at the far post to head it in the goal. However, slack defending gave Harnik too much space on the edge of the box as he was able to drill it low past Vermeer. 1-1 at the final whistle and with the other result pending, Ajax know they will have to win their 2 remaining games if they are to finish first in the group and avoid a powerhouse team in the round of 16.
Ajax - CorinthiansSulejmani puts on great performance with a hat-trick of assists3 016 Shots 57 SOT 348% Possession 52%26 Tackles 250 1C. Eriksen (18') SulejmaniT. Alderweireld SulejmaniRalfM. El Hamdaoui (52') SulejmaniCS: VermeerC. EriksenAjax bounce back from Cup draw; Pick up 3 points against CorinthiansAmsterdam, Netherlands "Coming into this game we knew that we were facing a hungry team. A team desperate to get on the scoresheet. We did our best to stop their attacks before they came to fruition and liked what we saw with the personnel change this game. Moving Eriksen back to CAM allowed him and Janssen the opportunity to control the game in the middle, while also allowing two of our fastest players the chance to bomb down the wings. If we can play the way we did today in our upcoming two games this week; I like our chances" Two quick-fire goals led the way for Ajax as they pick up the 3-0 win in this game. In the 18th minute the deadlock was broken as Sulejmani put in a teasing ball from the right side which was met by Eriksen to put the home team up 1-0. Sulejmani would add his second assist of the night on a cross into the box which inexplicably was met by Alderweireld, who, for some reason, was in the box. "When I noticed who had scored the goal there I was a little shocked. There wasn't a corner or freekick before the goal. Credit to Aldy though, he put that goal away with his head like a true finisher. That's his second goal of the season already, maybe he should be playing up there instead of at the back!" Sulejmani would ice this game in the 52nd minute as his cross would deflect off of a Corinthians defender and right into the path of El Hamdaoui, who volleyed it home past the keeper. Ajax would set up shop for the remainder of the game, and while they had chances to add to the 3-0 scoreline, were unsuccessful at doing so. Vermeer records his 4th shutout on the trot as the Ajax team now gears up for a huge showdown against PSV Eindhoven 24 hours from now. "That game has been marked on our schedule since the beginning of the year. PSV are a good team with a great coach, but we will be searching for all 3 points when we go to Eindhoven. Nothing would be more satisfying than that, and after losing to their manager twice last season you better believe that we will have something in store for them when we face off!"
Group C, Match 2 Everton - Ajax1 44 Shots 182 SOT 1048% Possession 52%20 Tackles 191 0Ajax - J. Lukoki (42') M. SulejmaniAjax - S. de Jong (45') J. LukokiAjax - T. Alderweireld (60') T. JanssenJ. HeitingaEverton - N. Jelavic (74') R. DrentheAjax - M. El Hamdaoui (89') R. Ligeon Ajax Put Control of Group in their hands; Leave England with all 3 pointsLiverpool, England The Dutch team were on a do or die mission in this game. Collect all 3 points, or have their fate in the group out of their hands. For most of the 1st half their offense was stifled by the Everton defense before Ajax decided to make a tactical change in switching the wingers positions. This paid off right before half time as Sulejmani would fine Lukoki for the side foot volley and the one goal lead. Ajax would add to that lead minutes later as a bad pass out by Tim Howard gave Lukoki the ball in space, as he played it to de Jong who finished it off to give the away side the 2-0 lead at the break. Alderweireld would add to the scoring right on the hour mark as he would score off a trademark corner kick before Everton were given some hope with an impressive finish by Jelavic after some good build up play by the home side. However, El Hamdaoui would wrap up the win a minute from time as he finished off a darting run by Ligeon with a nice first time shot past Howard. Now, with a win in their final group game, Ajax should be able to take 1st place in the group and avoid the best team from Group D.
Sulejmani left frustrated after missing two of team's best chances in 0-0 drawPSV Eindhoven 0-0 Ajax Amsterdam6 (3) Shots (SOT) 8 (5)53% Possession 47%24 Tackles 93 Fouls 31 10 Offsides 01 Corners 2Match Events: M. Sulejmani (52') T. Derijck (90')CS: P. TytonCS: K. VermeerAjax take point from rivals; feel they should have had moreEindhoven, Netherlands"Any other day and we would have scored one of our chances." said an obviously frustrated Ajax coach as his side battles to their 3rd 0-0 draw in 5 league games. Sulejmani would have the best chance of the 1st half early on as a cross from de Jong would find the winger in the middle, but his header was saved by Tyton as the teams went into the break level. The second half saw the two best chances fall to Ajax yet again, as a freekick by Janssen crashed off the post, and a one on one chance for Sulejmani was blocked by Tyton at the end of the game. "I was trying to cross the ball to one of the two open teammates, but was unable to get the ball over Tyton in time" said Sulejmani after the game. "If you would have told me that we would take a point away to our biggest rivals then I would have taken it, but the game leaves a sour taste in our mouths as we continue to struggle in front of goal. We have yet to concede a goal and yet we are 4 points off the top of the table because of our 3 draws. You can credit PSV for limiting our chances on goal, but we really should have buried at least one of the 3 really good chances we had this game; chances are few and far between in this league and we cannot keep not taking them when given the chance. Something must change or else we will continue to have many more of these nights in the future, and in this league we cannot afford that." Ajax will now go on a 4 day trip to the outskirts of the country in order to prepare for their last game of this week, a home game against Stoke. "We know what to expect from the English side and will have to take care of where Crouch is at all times. Our wingbacks will need to play their best game of the season to date as they will be asked to stop the wingers of Stoke from being allowed to cross the ball into the box. This break for us comes at a good time as we prepare for the Stoke game in which we will be looking to take all 3 points and remain on course to fight for the championship."
Ajax vs StokeEriksen scores a brilliant volleyed goal to put Ajax up 22 0Sulejmani (43') LukokiC. Eriksen (65')CS: Vermeer
BY THE NUMBERS(Matchdays 1-6; Coppa Group Games 1-2) -Will be a bi-weekly feature in which we look at the numbers which mean the most to the Ajax campaign so far. -The amount of goals Ajax have given up in the league through 6 games-The amount of losses Ajax have in this campaign so far (6 league + 2 cup games)-Goals scored in the first 15 minutes of any game; as the Ajax offense takes a cautious approach early on -The number of wins in the league this season.-The number of draws in the league this season.-The number of assists by Sulejmani in the 3-0 Corinthians win.-The number of goals scored by Eriksen in the league-The number of goals scored by CB Alderweireld this campaign (2 in league/1 in cup)
Werder Bremen - Ajax0 13 Shots 111 SOT 647% Possession 53%21 Tackles 100 1Ajax - J. Lukoki (25') M. SulejmaniAjax - V Anita (88')CS: K. VermeerM. Sulejmani (Ajax)
Ajax in 7th Heaven as team notches 7th clean sheet to start season
"Any time you play a team managed by Broncos218 you better take your chances because they will be few and far between. Luckily we were able to get a goal out of nothing as I really believed that Sulejmani had dribbled himself into a corner before crossing in that ball. How it stayed in play I have no idea but it was delivered on a plate to Lukoki, and we were able to thwart the Bremen attack for the most part with Vermeer coming up huge once again when we needed him. What more can I say about this team? They have done everything I have asked of them up to this moment. We will now shift our focus to our last coppa group game in which 3 points will assure us of 1st place in the group; while also getting ready to face a Fulham team we do not know much about. But for tonight the lads have deserved a night to go out and celebrate here in Germany, as beating this Bremen team at their own grounds is something worth celebrating"
This was a game that was seen as a marker to how big of a challenge Ajax could mount this season. Going into this game their manager had been slaughtered by the Bremen team when he was coaching Aston Villa, including a 6-0 humiliation that nearly cost him his job. Coming in to this game the challenge was to keep Pizarro away from the danger areas and to force other players to beat them; but also paying particular attention to Marin who had terrorized Aston Villa previously. This game was played out in the midfield for the most part, with Siem de Jong testing out Wiese early with a shot that was parried away for a corner. The breakthrough came in the 25th minute as Sulejmani seemed to be running out of space and sent over a cross that found Lukoki 2 meters in front of goal, as he rised up to powerfully head home the opener. 1-0 Ajax at the break, but the Dutch team knew they would have to be at their best defensively to keep the dangerous Bremen attack at bay.
The second half was more of the same as both sides were drawn into a midfield battle. In the 66th minute however, Enoh was unable to head a ball away and was panicked into bringing down the Bremen attacker in the box as the ref blew for a penalty. Pizarro stepped up but Vermeer was able to guess the right way and parry the ball away to safety, as Enoh let out a huge sigh of relief as he watched the ball being saved. After that moment Ajax would have two more decent chances to get a 2nd goal, with Sulejmani getting both chances, however Wiese was able to come up big on both opportunities as the Dutch team held on for the 1-0 win.
Ajax - Fulham5 118 Shots 611 SOT 348% Possession 52%14 Tackles 200 1Ajax: S. de Jong (5') J. LukokiAjax: J. Lukoki (22') M. SulejmaniFulham: M. Dembele (28') D. EtuhuAjax: T. Alderweireld (40') T. JanssenFulham: B. Hangeland (45')Ajax: M. Sulejmani PK (45')Ajax: C. Eriksen (80')T. AlderweireldAjax Find Offense; Concede First Goal in League Play in 5-1 Win Amsterdam, NetherlandsComing into the game Ajax have had a problem of starting out games slow. Rather methodical in their game, at times they would rather not open up and attack in risk of conceding on a counter attack. However, today would mark the first game in which this team would score in the first 15 mins as Ajax took their first attack down the right wing, and Lukoki was able to find de Jong in the middle, who would juke past a defender and rifle it past Schwarzer in goal. The home team would add to that goal on another counter attack, as a quick chipped pass from the defense found a streaking Sulejmani, who was able to cross it across goal before the ball reached the onrushing defender as Lukoki would volley it home to put the home side up 2-0.On the 28th minute mark the Ajax defense would finally break after not conceding in 658 minutes of league play as Etuhu played a ball into the path of Dembele who was able to beat his man and get it past a diving Vermeer. "I think Dembele was in shock when he actually scored" said the Ajax coach after the game. "He just dived onto the ground in disbelief, almost as if he was in complete shock or something". A minute later Ajax were given a golden opportunity to restore their 2 goal advantage as Aaron Hughes took down de Jong in the box, however Sulejmani's penalty was saved by Schwarzer. "That was the second penalty in as many games that has been saved" said an exhausted Sulejmani after the game. "I'm just glad that both those penalties didn't end up hurting us at the end, but I must work at burying those chances when they come to me".The 37th saw a glorious opportunity for Fulham to level the scoreline, as Adam Jonhson would find room in the box and chip a ball to a wide open Pogrebneyak, but from 6 yards out he was only able to head it right at Vermeer as Ajax escaped. "I thought for sure that Fulham were level when I saw that ball chipped in" said the coach "thankfully Vermeer was alert and able to palm the ball away, or else we would have been in big trouble".That proved to be the turning point in the game, as 3 minutes later Ajax would regain that 2 goal lead as Alderweireld would once again find himself on the scoresheet for the 3rd time this season as he headed home a Janssen corner kick. 5 minutes after that, and at the stroke of halftime, Hangeland would take out Lukoki in the box, resulting in a yellow card for the Fulham man and another penalty for Ajax. Sulejmani cooly stepped up and buried it this time, as the team took a 4-1 lead at halftime. "I was always going to take that penalty, no questions about it. Some players would shy away after missing a couple but I'm thankful the coaching staff still entrusted me in taking that penalty, especially after missing one earlier"The second half was mostly dominated by the midfield, but Ajax were able to add a 3rd goal in the 80th minute as a Ligeon shot was deflected right into the path of Eriksen, who was able to slot it home for his 4th goal of the season. With the 5-1 win Ajax record their first perfect week of the season (2 wins in league; 1 in the coppa) as they get ready for some big time showdowns in the coming week against 3 or the top 5 teams (Spartak, CSKA, Gladbach) in the standings.
Ajax - CSKA Moscow2 16 Shots 82 SOT 452% Possession 48%21 Tackles 23S. de Jong (36') C. EriksenM. Sulejmani (45') V. AnitaK. Honda (58') M. GonzalezM. Sulejmanigg shifteeAjax use late surge in 1st half to hang on for win against CSKA MoscowAmsterdam, Netherlands"I'm glad that is now over" said an exhausted Ajax coach as the final whistle blew for this top of the table clash with the Russians. "We knew this week would be extremely hard on our players physically, and we were in a battle with CSKA. Thankfully we took our chances when we got them and were able to hang on for dear life as Vermeer made a couple of quality saves throughout the 2nd half along with the post, which stood tall for us very early in the 2nd half". Asked about the substitutions made in the game the coach responded by saying "Lukoki was exhausted after the 1st half. Once they scored their goal in the 58th I had to bring him off and put on some fresh legs because our attack was offering nothing while our defense was constantly on the back foot the entire half. Ligeon was able to do his job down the right flank and offered an outlet to the midfielders looking to move the ball up the pitch. 70 minutes in and our midfield was still being run over, so that was the reason Eriksen made way for Serero. He brought with him some much needed speed and agility in the midfield as Janssen desperately needed some help at that point. I think bringing in Serero really calmed the team down and made them focus on keeping that 1 goal lead until the end. The de Jong substitution at the end was to bring in someone who could run at the defense; and it nearly paid off there at the end when Sigporsson got clear of the defense but was unable to get a shot in. All in all I'm proud of the lads, but now we must focus on our two other crunch games this week against Monchengladbach and against the leaders, Spartak"The game started off with both teams weary of each other's ability as it became a midfield battle for most of the first half. 36 minutes into the game Ajax would get the breakthrough as Eriksen was able to get some space in the box before sending in a cross that de Jong was able to head in. As half time approached, Sulejmani had the ball down the left wing, and rather than cross it in he decided to try and get something going by taking the ball into the box. After beating his initial man, he was able to set himself up with a shot on his right foot, which he was able to get by Ikinfeev to give the home fans something to cheer about as the referee blew for halftime.
The second half was all about CSKA's offense though as they were intent on getting an early goal to get back into this game. A shot that rang off the post was an early warning for Ajax before Ignashevich's header off a freekick was parried away by Vermeer in the 55th minute. 3 minutes later and CSKA got their goal as Honda was able to find some space in the box before hitting the ball with the outside of his foot with a sweet shot that gave Vermeer no chance. The last 30 minutes of the game saw CSKA ramp up the offensive pressure as the Ajax defense were somehow able to not concede another goal. Honda had a chance 3 minutes after his goal to get another, but his header was well saved by Vermeer before Doumbia got the chance at the death, as his side-foot volley went agonizingly wide for CSKA fans in the 82nd minute. 2-1 was the final score as Ajax were able to get all 3 points in this very important game.
Borussia M'gladbach - Ajaxvan der Wiel sent off as 10 man Ajax hold on for narrow win(will be suspended for game vs Spartak)0 13 Shots 100 SOT 245% Possession 55%39 Tackles 251 00 1Borussia - P. Hermann (32')Ajax - S. de Jong (41')Ajax - G. van der Wiel (57')CS: K. Vermeer (Ajax)T. Alderweireld (Ajax)gg rschwep Siem de Jong to the rescue as Ajax battle hard for 3 pointsMonchengladbach, Germany "We knew what kind of game this was going to be from the start. Borussia was coming into this game fresh off their miracle draw against Sunderland and the home crowd would be behind them the whole way. We looked to dictate the flow of the game early on and we were able to do so by challenging them on the wings with fast attacks. When we went down to 10 men it was a sticky situation but I'm proud of how the team performed. They were able to keep the ball and frustrate the opposing team, which is exactly what we needed to do to get out of this game with all the points. It's a shame that Gregory will miss the biggest game of our season, but looking back at the challenge I believe it was extremely harsh on him to receive a straight red but there is nothing we can do now. Ligeon will be tasked with the right back position for the next game and we have the utmost confidence that he will do his job well against the Spartak attack" Coming into this game Ajax were red-hot, having not dropped any points since their 0-0 draw in Eindhoven against PSV. In fact, the team were riding a 7 game win streak with their 5 league wins and 2 coppa victories, as they faced a team that they knew would be looking to ruin their streak in Monchengladbach. "I haven't had any luck against their coach" said the Ajax coach after the game "losing to him twice last year was tough, but with this new team I am happy that I was finally able to get a win against rschwep whos teams are always a threat going forward. Limiting them to 0 shots on target is a testament to how the team played, especially when we went down to 10 as everyone stepped up and played their defensive duties perfectly" This game would be settled by a 41st minute de Jong goal, as Anita was able to find some space in the box before crossing it in towards Lukoki. A Borussia defender got to the ball first, but it only fell into the path of de Jong, who was able to chest it down and bury it past the sprawling keeper. After that Monchengladbach would have a glorious chance to level it, but Hanke's powerful shot cannoned off the post and out right at the half time whistle. At the 57th minute van der Wiel was adjudged to have brought down the M'gladbach forward, and as the last man received his marching orders. Ajax were able to keep the pressure away from their keeper for the 30+ remaining minutes of the game to notch their 8th win in a row as they await the showdown in Moscow against Spartak.
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