Two goals in the last 15 minutes saw Ajax defeat 10-man Groningen at the Johan Cruijff ArenA.

Edson Alvarez and Sergino Dest dropped to the bench after Ajax’s midweek victory over Fortuna Sittard. Noussair Mazraoui and Donny van de Beek both started.

Ajax had the upper hand from the start as expected but David Neres put a good chance wide before Sergio Padt denied Hakim Ziyech. Groningen created one chance of their own but Django Warmerdam fired over the bar.

Dusan Tadic and Neres saw chances come to nothing with the Brazilian particularly wasteful in front of goal during the first-half.

In the second half, Ajax continued to push but Groningen got chances on the counter with Andre Onana having to make a good save to keep out Deyovaisio Zeefuik’s effort.

Groningen grew in confidence but with fifteen minutes left they were reduced to ten men when Django Warmerdam was shown his second yellow card.

From that point there was only going to be one winner and Lisandro Martinez broke the deadlock for Ajax with a lovely strike from just outside the box. Three minutes later, Ziyech played a lovely ball to van de Beek, who then crossed for Klaas Jan Huntelaar to tap in a second goal.

Ajax move three points clear at the top of the table and can now prepare for the midweek clash in the Champions League against Valencia. Groningen are 14th.




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