Ajax could be eight points behind PSV in the title race on Sunday after they went down 1-0 at Heracles Almelo.

Erik ten Hag’s side turned up in Almelo with understandably one eye on the Champions League clash with Real Madrid in midweek. However, with PSV five points ahead in the table, they couldn’t afford a slip-up.

Heracles came out of the traps quickly and put Ajax under pressure early on. In the 5th minute, the home side were awarded a penalty for a foul by Daley Blind, but Andre Onana tipped Brandley Kuwas spot kick onto the post.

Onana went from hero to villain in the 17th minute when he passed the ball straight to Mohamed Osman, who took full advantage and slotted Heracles in front.

Ajax barely threatened before the break, with Janis Blaswich only called into action to tip a Frenkie de Jong effort over the bar.

The visitors were more dangerous in the second half but Blaswich kept out a shot from distance from Matthijs de Ligt. Just after the hour mark, Hakim Ziyech played Klaas Jan Huntelaar in on goal, but the striker couldn’t beat Blaswich.

Zakaria Labyad, Noussair Mazraoui and Kasper Dolberg all appeared from the bench, but before the end the best chance fell for Heracles. A poor touch from Onana presented the ball to Kristoffer Peterson but he could only fire into the side netting.

A PSV win at Utrecht on Sunday will put them firmly in the driving seat for the title, while Real Madrid are waiting on Wednesday. A poor night for Ajax but they must quickly pick themselves up for the Champions League.

Heracles climb to sixth.




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