Ajax’s title chances were left in tatters after a dubious red card and Aron Johannsson goal handed AZ a 1-0 win which puts PSV 12 points clear at the top.

oaa moisanAfter the defeat to Vitesse at the weekend and without Thulani Serero and Davy Klaassen, Ajax boss Frank de Boer rung the changes with Daley Sinkgraven making his debut in a midfield three that included Riechedly Bazoer and Jairo Riedewald, while Lasse Schone became a false nine as Arkaduisz Milik dropped to the bench and was flanked by both Anwar El Ghazi and Ricardo Kishna.

The changes improved Ajax’s tempo but they still struggled to break down a strong AZ defence with Anwar El Ghazi firing over the bar before sending another shot straight at Esteban. The best chance of the first half fell to defender Mike van der Hoorn but his header was diverted onto the bar by Mattias Johansson, while Ricardo van Rhijn also fired inches wide. AZ played mostly on the counter and just before the break Steven Berghuis was played through on goal, but the on form wingers shot was straight at Jasper Cillessen.

Ajax appeared nervous after the break and the game swung AZ’s way on the hour mark when referee Pol van Boekel showed a more than dubious red card to Niklas Moisander after he was adjudged to pull down Aron Johannsson when the striker spun the defender outside the box.

With the extra man AZ pushed and Wesley Hoedt was unlucky to see a close range header come back off the bar before AZ found the winner fifteen minutes from time when Johannsson turned Simon Poulson’s shot past Cillessen.

Its now two defeats in a row for Ajax and they are surely too far behind PSV (12 points) to mount a title challenge, while AZ Alkmaar move level on points with Feyenoord in 4th.

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