Ajax are back within seven points of leaders PSV Eindhoven after a 4-1 win over Heerenveen. Hakim Ziyech was the star with three fine assists. 

After the defeat to Vitesse last week, Erik ten Hag decided to drop Joel Veltman to the bench, with Matthijs de Ligt taking over the captains armband. He also welcomed back Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to the starting line-up.

From the start, Ajax pinned Heerenveen back but struggled to find a way through. Justin Kluivert gave Denzel Dumfries a hard time in the opening twenty minutes, but the winger couldn’t supply the opening goal. He did set up Huntelaar with a good cross, but the striker failed to convert.

On 31 minutes the opening goal did come with Heerenveen allowing Hakim Ziyech too much space on the right and he picked out De Ligt to nod in the opener. However, a minute later Martin Odegaard equalised with a stunning strike from distance which flew past Andre Onana.

Ajax created two great chances in the opening two minutes of the second half but Donny van de Beek prodded wide, before Huntelaar blasted over from seven yards out. Huntelaar then passed up another excellent opportunity in the 49th minute, hitting a Kluivert cross into the ground and off the bar from point-blank range.

Finally, Ajax took the lead again on 58 minutes when through Nicolas Tagliafico, who found the net after Schone hit the crossbar and Martin Hansen parried a shot from Max Wober.

Ajax missed several chances to then kill the game off but a third did come in the 88th minute as Ziyech threated a perfect ball through to van de Beek who slotted past Hansen. Ziyech then completed his hat-trick of assists by sending David Neres through and the Brazilian rounded Hansen before tapping in.

The victory moves Ajax back to within seven points of leaders PSV Eindhoven, while Heerenveen are 10th.

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