Both these sides have been hugely tipped for the title and it’s hard to see anyone else competing with these two. They’ve both made terrific starts to the season as well, two wins from two for both clubs and they’ve both found goals easy to come by. Ajax opened the season with a 4-1 home victory over Vitesse, before following that up with a 3-1 victory away to AZ Alkmaar. PSV defeated Willem II 3-1 in their first game of the season and then they destroyed NAC Breda 6-1 in the second game of the season.
The starting line up saw Ricardo van Rhijn and Joël Veltman return to the side after returning from their holiday’s and Ajax also gave Anwar El Ghazi his first start. For PSV Jetro Willems made a return to the starting line up.
The game saw plenty of great football and was end to end, in the early stages PSV started the brighter of the two sides. Adam Maher came close when his cross into the box forced Jasper Cillessen into making a save, the Ajax keeper was alert enough to flick the cross out for a corner. Ajax responded straight away,Lasse Schöne’s freekick into the area was headed towards goal by Davy Klaassen and Jeroen Zoet was able to punch the effort over the bar.
PSV came close once again and they would’ve taken the lead had it not been for an excellent interception from Niklas Moisander, Luuk De Jong played a lovely ball out wide to Luciano Narsingh, who tried to find Memphis Depay with his ball across the goal but Moisander was there to knock the ball out for a corner. Almost straight after that chance Ajax took the lead, Klaassen lofted a brilliant pass over the top to El Ghazi and the youngster showed great awareness to see Zoet off his line and head over him.
Ajax left back Nicolai Boilesen was having a brilliant first half and he almost capped it off with a goal, the Danish defender charged forward before linking up with fellow Dane Schöne, Boilsen surged into the box, his effort was palmed away by Zoet, Klaassen picked up the rebound and his effort on the turn is blocked.
PSV came close when De Jong dummied the ball, letting it go through to Georginio Wijnaldum, his effort was put out for a corner by the hands of Cillessen. The resulting corner saw Depay and Maher link up and once again Cillessen was able to get down low to save Maher’s effort. PSV had another chance towards half time, Depay played in Wijnaldum after El Ghazi lost the ball for Ajax, Wijnaldum couldn’t get his first touch right and Boilesen was able to get back and nick the ball away for a corner.
Ajax produced the last spell of action in the half, Van Rhijn played a brilliant pass down the line for El Ghazi, the youngster’s ball across the box was fortunately sliced just past the post by Brenet, the right back just about stopping Schöne from tapping in at the back post. Soon after Kolbeinn Sigþórsson muscled his way through the PSV defence after it looked like he had lost possession, after keeping the ball he managed to get an effort on goal, however it was a comfortably save for Zoet.
Half Time: Ajax 1-0 PSV.
The end to end action continued into the second half. The first big chance of the half came when Klassen whipped in a great low cross into the box and Sigþórsson bravely tried scoring with a diving header, unfortunately his effort was directed wide.
In the 52nd minute Ajax came close to scoring a second when Schöne’s effort on the edge of the area saw Zoet save and the clearance from Jeffrey Bruma sparked a counter attack. Narsingh broke down the right and after bursting into the box he played the ball across to Depay for an easy tap in.
Ajax had a great shout for a penalty, Moisander played the ball into Sigþórsson, who knocked the ball past Karem Rekik, the PSV defender then made a clumsy challenge in the box and no penalty is given. Sigþórsson was soon presented another opportunity,Klassen played the striker through but Zoet was quick off his line to deny him the chance.
Just after the hour mark PSV completed the turn around, Schöne gave the ball away in PSV’s half which resulted in a fantastic counter attack, De Jong charged forward and slipped the ball through to Narsingh, the winger took a touch before easily tucking the ball past Cillessen.
Ajax came close to an equaliser when Daley Blind played a great ball forward to Moisander, the centre back controlled brilliantly to give him a one-on-one opportunity, Moisander did everything right only for Zoet to produce an outstanding save to flick it over the bar.
PSV sealed the victory four minute from time, Zoet’s goal kick was left by De Jong, Blind and Veltman failed to deal with the trouble and substitute Florian Jozefzoon pounced on the ball before slipping the ball past Cillesen. This goal confirmed the victory and ended Ajax’s unbeaten run in the league.
Ajax ran out of ideas as the game approached full time, however Thulani Serero came close when he tried his luck with a shot outside the area, Zoet tipped the shot onto the crossbar and back into his arms.
Full Time: Ajax 1-3 PSV.
Article for VAVEL.