Ajax defeated VVV Venlo 4-1 to go joint top of the Eredivisie but it came at a price with both Quincy Promes and Hakim Ziyech going off injured.

After the win over PAOK Salonika in midweek, Erik ten Hag made three changes with Joel Veltman, David Neres and Noussair Mazraoui replaced by Sergino Dest, Perr Schuurs and Quincy Promes.

Ajax struggled to find a way through an organised VVV Venlo defence and only became dangerous fifteen minutes before the break. Promes shot wide before Dest was denied by Thorsten Kirschbaum.

In the 40th minute, Promes was forced off injured and had to be replaced by Neres. Just before the break, Ajax broke the deadlock through Hakim Ziyech, who found the net after being set up by Dusan Tadic.

Minutes into the second half, Roel Janssen’s arm blocked a shot from Nicolás Tagliafico. A penalty was given and Tadic made it 2-0 from the spot.

After the second goal, VVV finally came into the game and they started to create chances but could not find a way past an in-form Andre Onana.

Substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who replaced Ziyech after the Moroccan took a slight knock, made it 3-0 in the 66th minute with a tap-in from Tagliafico’s cross.

A clever backheel from Donny van de Beek then set up Neres to fire in Ajax’s fourth. Just before the end, Evert Linthorst pulled a consolation back for VVV just before the end with a low strike past Onana.

Ajax go top of the table on goal difference but now must prepare for their Champions League clash with APOEL Nicosia on Tuesday. Ten Hag will be hoping that Ziyech and Promes will be fit for the clash.




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