Following a negative streak of two defeats against AZ Alkmaar and Willem II, Ajax could put themselves together and got their second victory in a row. This time, the win was in a home game against Sparta Rotterdam by 2-1.
Despite the tight scoreline, the four-time European Champions were always the better side and thoroughly deserved the win. The leaders of the Eredivisie were able to get the three points thanks to the goals of Donny Van de Beek and Ryan Gravenberch. Sparta scored its only goal through Joel Piroe.
The deadlock was broken with youngster Van de Beek – who is said to complete a move to Real Madrid next season -. At the 15th minute, the Dutch midfielder showed opportunism to slot home a loose ball in the area after a half-shot by Promes.
Erik Ten Hag’s men, with the first duty completed, kept showing their remarkable aggressive football. The high-pressing was well-placed as the team from Rotterdam seemed stunned at the pitch.
However, despite the pressure and the good chances created, Ajax only got to the second goal in the second half. And what a beautiful goal it was.
Ten Hag showed that his time as Guardiola’s assistant wasn’t in vain. His team reached the second goal through the best tiki-taka way.
The ball was rolled from a player to another until it got to Gravenberch, who struck a left-footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner. 2-0 Ajax with 60 on the clock.
Being 2-0 down, Sparta Rotterdam tried to create more chances. They hit the post with Abdou Harroui at the 72nd minute and, one minute later, they got their only goal with Piroe, with an assist from Harroui.
They kept trying but were not able to score more goals as the match ended 2-1 to the home side.
With the victory, Ajax has now 47 points – 6 more than second-placed AZ, – and remains at the top of the Dutch League. Sparta remains with 23 points, in the 11th position.
For the next Matchweek, the leaders will face Groningen, on next Sunday. While Sparta will face Fortuna Sittard on Saturday.