Koploper Ajax has managed to stop an attack of Feyenoord with pain and difficulty. In an exciting 189th Classical, the first in an empty Johan Cruijff Arena, the Amsterdammers won 1-0 thanks to a goal by Ryan Gravenberch.
With that, the home team got away very well. In injury time, Feyenoord got great chances of equalizing, but Leroy Fer (rescue André Onaa) and Luis Sinisterra (headball on the bar) missed.
Ajax continues through the winnings in the head and has three points more than number two Vitesse. Feyenoord drops to place four in the ranking and has six points less than the archrival.
Check out the comments of Ryan Gravenberch, Erik ten Hag, Steven Berghuis and Dick Advocate after the Classical.
The Rotterdammers are still waiting for the first victory at Ajax since 2005. Feyenoord won only three of the last 35 editions of the Classical, all in De Kuip.
Schuurs and Pratto on the couch
Erik ten Hag chose Jurriën Timber centrally in the back of Perr Schuurs, just like FC Twente (3-1 win). Mohammed Kudus and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who can return to Schalke 04, were missing due to injuries.
Dick Lawyer, who made his debut in a Classical at 73, preferred Nicolai Jørgensen over novice Lucas Pratto. Ridgeciano Haps started out as left. Sinisterra started on the couch.
Normally in a Classic, the tension in the stands is already felt hours in advance and it comes to a climax on the pitch. Now the duel began at a walking pace. Feyenoord collapsed and Ajax played the ball around quietly, without becoming dangerous.
Gravenberch broke the game halfway through the first half. He got the ball from Sébastien Haller, threatened to shoot right, but cut off Feyenoorder Marcos Senesi and curled left inside.
After the goal, Feyenoord became more courageous. The Rotterdammers went more forward and that gave a great opportunity for Haps, after a clever pass by Steven Berghuis. Haps dreaded, allowing Ajax goalkeeper André Onana to come out and bring rescue.
In the injury period of the first half, Jens Toornstra was close to the equalizer, but he shot into his own. On behalf of Ajax, who had 69 percent ball possession for rest, Haller created danger for a moment with a headball.
Injury Gravenberch, rejected goal Jørgensen
Goalscorer Gravenberch had to stop the battle at rest because of a back injury. Jurgen Ekkelenkamp was his replacement. Also in the second half the level, especially compared to the top Ajax-PSV of last week (2-2), was not too high.
Feyenoord became more and more in the game, while Ajax seemed to get tired. After a finished attack, Berghuis was given a free shot, but he did not get the ball between the poles.
The visitors felt there was something to get and also made a goal. Jørgensen scored, but saw his hit rejected. Declarant Toornstra was sideline.
The game remained messy, but the fighting spirit of both teams made up for a lot. Feyenoord earned a goal and should have scored through Berghuis, but the captain failed again.
Feyenoord leaves it
The introduction of Pratto just before time did not bring Feyenoord the final offensive that was hoped for. But in the last minute of the injury time, Fer suddenly got a huge opportunity. Onana had to go to extremes to keep his goal clean.
That was not yet done, because in the injury time of the injury time, substitute Sinisterra put on the bar. After the last whistle, the Ajacides took a relief.