Ajax dropped to eight points behind leaders PSV Eindhoven after a 2-1 defeat at home to Utrecht. 

Ajax boss Marcel Keizer decided to shake up his line-up after the slim win over Willem II last week with both Siem de Jong and Kasper Dolberg starting ahead of Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Donny van de Beek.

The changes didn’t have the desired effect as Utrecht stunned the home crowd in the 6th minute. Gyrano Kerk, who was slightly offside, was played through on goal before picking out the onrushing Zakaria Labyad. The midfielder’s first effort hit the post but he followed up to net the rebound.

Ajax dominated possession after the early goal but struggled to create chances until the 44th minute when Nick Viergever headed the hosts level.

Early in the second half, Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana made an excellent save to deny Kerk and moments later at the other end Amin Younes fired over the bar from a few yards out.

Daley Sinkgraven and Frenkie de Jong were brought on but Ajax failed to improve and were lucky to see a Labyad header come back off the woodwork. However, in the 84th minute, Younes lost the ball just outside his area which led to a cross reaching Labyad at the back post and he jinked past Donny van de Beek before hammering a shot past Onana to snatch the victory for Utrecht.

The three points mean Utrecht remain in 8th while Ajax stay 2nd but are now cut adrift of PSV at the top.

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