Match Report: Ajax 1 - 0 Vitesse
Dijks headed goal was enough to secure Ajax three points.
Ajax came through 1-0 winners over Vitesse at the Amsterdam Arena in a match they needed to win to try and improve their fortunes to what has been a very lacklustre start to the season.
Following their 3-0 win over GA Eagles in their last league game the side from the Dutch capital only recorded their previous win of the season in their opening game away to Sparta Rotterdam. Since then they have drawn one, lost one league game, and went down in poor fashion to Russian side FC Rostov in the qualifying round of the Champions League condemning them to the Europa League group stage.
After an uneventful 1st half the game picked up in the second. The game needed a lift as the second half started at a pace not dissimilar to a training match, and the Amsterdam Arena were demanding more from their side having booed off their team at the end of the first period.
Ajax’s opening goal came in the 55th minute thanks to a floated free kick from new signing Hakim Ziyech on the left hand side which landed on left back Dijks’ head netting from 8 yards. The Moroccan international who signed from FC Twente during the summer transfer window was making his home debut and looking to impress.
Vitesse Chelsea loanee Lewis Baker came close on 60th minute as Englishman Lewis Baker’s deflected free kick was whipped in and which almost crept over Andre Onana into the far corner of the goal which went out for a corner.
Another Chelsea loanee, Bertrand Traore, had to drop very deep during the game at times to look for the ball as Ajax struggled to make things happen further up the field. He seem to pick up a muscle injury in the second half but continued to play and following a nice run and shot inside the area it took a fine save from Vitesse goalkeeper Eloy Room to deny him a goal. He was eventually with half an hour if the game left being replaced by highly rated young Danish prospect Kasper Dolberg.
Arnold Kruiswijk was sent off on 67th minute as his mistimed challenge on defender Veltman gave referee Richard Liesveld no choice but to issue him with a second yellow card. Ajax continued to cause the away side problems with winger Younes running at Kelvin Leerdam throughout the second half coming close himself and sending the ball into the box, Dolberg and Schone came close to doubling the lead.
In injury time Onana had to pull out a top class save from a shot from 25 yards by Adnane Tighadouini as the Moroccan tried to chance Vitesse’ luck having come off the bench on 64 minutes. Ajax will feel they should have done better in this game, they attempted 22 shots on goal with on 6 on target and being up by an extra man following the red card.
Ajax climb into third place through goal difference behind the top two of Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven whereas Vitesse stay in 8th position.