After their poor 2-0 loss in the Europa League, Ajax have also slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Heracles Almelo.

Ajax’s form has been a point of discussion in recent weeks and the 2-0 loss at Getafe in midweek was possibly their worst performance of the campaign so far.

For the visit to Almelo, Erik ten Hag was without Hakim Ziyech, who was deemed unfit. Ryan Gravenberch, Perr Schuurs and Klaas Jan Huntelaar all started the clash.

Ajax created several chances in the first half but Nicolas Tagliafico put a header wide, while Donny van de Beek hit the crossbar. At the other end, Cyriel Dessers was off-target with Heracles best opportunity.

The second half continued in the same vein with Ajax pushing forward but unable to break the deadlock. Ten Hag turned to Danilo, who made his first-team debut, but after only a few minutes on the pitch, the lead was taken at the other end.

Dessers beat Daley Blind and then hammered a powerful strike past Andre Onana to make it 1-0.

Ajax poured forward looking for the equaliser and even used Schuurs as a target man, but the closest they came was a Danilo header straight at Janis Blaswich.

The result means Ajax are now only three points above AZ Alkmaar at the top. On Thursday, Ajax host Getafe and then three days later, AZ travel to Amsterdam.

Heracles are now ninth.

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