Ajax are back to within two points of leaders PSV Eindhoven after Daley Blind’s late winner gave them a 2-1 victory over PEC Zwolle.

Erik ten Hag’s side went into the rearranged game without the injured Hakim Ziyech, while Frenkie de Jong was only on the bench. Zakaria Labyad and Lasse Schone started in their place. Jaap Stam’s side were looking for some points to ease their relegation fears.

Ajax controlled the game from the start and their first big chance came in the eleventh minute. Kasper Dolberg found himself free with only the goalkeeper to beat but Mickey van der Hart pulled off a good save.

Van der Hart then had to go off with a broken finger to be replaced by Diederik Boer. Eventually, in the 32nd minute, Boer was beaten by Dusan Tadic, who fired in his 29th goal of the season from close range.

Donny van de Beek should have made it 2-0 when he was played in on goal by Tadic just before the break but his effort was just kept out by Boer.

PEC Zwolle proved more dangerous after the break and nerves were clear in the Johan Cruijff ArenA. Labyad could have eased the fans fears but he fired a great chance over the bar on the hour mark.

Thomas Lam should have equalised four minutes later but when the ball landed at his feet in the box but he could only fire over.

Ten Hag decided to replace the ineffective Dolberg with Klaas Jan Huntelaar but the elusive second goal didn’t come and with ten minutes to go, PEC Zwolle equalised. A swift move ended with Kingsley Ehizibue setting up Vito van Crooij to fire past Andre Onana.

Ten Hag put Noa Lang on for his Eredivisie debut and the 19-year-old made an instant impact. The midfielder crossed perfectly to the back post where Daley Blind headed Ajax back in front.

PEC Zwolle goalscorer Van Crooij then went from hero to zero with a late challenge on Huntelaar which saw him red-carded.

Ajax saw out the last few minutes of the game and sealed a victory which moves them back to within two points of PSV Eindhoven at the top. PEC Zwolle are 13th and still only one point above the bottom three.




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