Ajax have closed the gap on leaders PSV Eindhoven to seven points after a crucial 3-0 win in Amsterdam.

Ajax went into the game in desperate need of a victory to cut the gap on their rivals and Marcel Keizer decided to stick with a three-man defence as Frenkie de Jong started. Phillip Cocu decided to line-up in a 5-3-2 formation with Derrick Luckassen coming into the side in place of Steven Bergwijn.

The early stages saw Ajax control possession with PSV looking to use the pace of Jurgen Locadia and Hirving Lozano on the counter. Early on, Locadia was played through on goal, but went down with a hamstring injury which forced Cocu into an unwanted substitution as Luuk de Jong came on.

Ajax, despite having plenty of the ball, struggled to create chances and it was PSV who had the first big opportunity when Lozano burst into the box, but his cross was turned behind for a corner with De Jong lurking. In the 38th minute, Ajax should have taken the lead but Kasper Dolberg sent a free header over the bar from a few yards out.

Towards the end of the half the game threatened to boil over with a number of crunching tackles and scuffles. Jorrit Hendrix was very lucky to stay on the pitch with a late challenge on David Neres not resulting in his second yellow card.

Ten minutes into the second half, Ajax missed another excellent chance with Matthijs de Ligt heading a great Justin Kluivert cross over the bar.

On the hour mark, the deadlock was broken by the hosts. A corner was headed into the path of Neres just outside the box and the Brazilian sent a low strike into the bottom corner. Three minutes later it was 2-0 through Lasse Schone, who was allowed to break into the box before rifling a powerful strike past Jeroen Zoet.

PSV just couldn’t contain Ajax who flooded forward and with twenty minutes left, Neres set up Donny van de Beek to hammer in a third goal.

Marco van Ginkel hit the bar late on with a free-kick but Ajax comfortably saw out the victory which moves them to within seven points of PSV, whose ten-game winning streak ends. The leaders are now just five points ahead of AZ in second.




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