Ajax began life after Christian Eriksen with a nervy 2-1 win over league leaders PEC Zwolle on Saturday night.
- By Michael Bell
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Ajax started brightly, with Tobias Sana shooting into the side netting, before Viktor Fischer fired just over the bar from long range. A corner also saw Stefano Denswil left all alone in the middle, but his header was kept out by Kevin Begois.
As the half went on Zwolle started to gain confidence, and should have went into the break in the lead, after wrongly having a goal disallowed for offside. A shot was spilled by Kenneth Vermeer, and capitalised on by Mustafa Saymak, but the linesman had his flag up, when replays showed he was online with last defender.
Five minutes into the second half, Fred Benson found himself one on one with Kenneth Vermeer, but the Ajax keeper pulled off a good save.
With 18 minutes left, Ajax finally took the lead, when Kamohelo Mokotjo’s clearance fell to Thulani Serero outside the box, and the midfielder’s scuffed effort ended up in the net via Mokotjo’s foot.
Two minutes later it was 2-0, with Begois giving the ball straight to Serero from a goal kick, and the Ajax man set up Sigthorsson to hit the post, but the ball came off defender Maikel van der Werff and into the net.
PEC Zwolle had a chance to pull a goal back seven minutes from the end, but after Guyon Fernandexz rounded Vermeer, his shot was cleared off the line by Denswil.
Just before the end, Zwolle did pull it back to 2-1, with a terrific effort by Giovanni Gravenbeek, who smashed the ball in via the bar from outside the box.
Ajax nervously held on for the final few minutes to inflict Zwolle to their first defeat of the season, and gain crucial confidence going into their Champions League tie with Barcelona.