Ajax records a problem-free victory over FC Utrecht in empty Galgenwaard

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Ajax won the traditionally difficult away match against FC Utrecht on Sunday with 0-3. Davy Klaassen, Dusan Tadic and Quincy Promes scored against the team of interim trainer René Hake, who (temporarily) replaces John van den Brom, who left for KRC Genk this week.

Paes is allowed to play again for Hake

After a mediocre first half, Klaassen opened the score in the empty Galgenwaard after just over an hour. Ten minutes later, Tadic decided the game from a penalty kick, after which substitute Quincy Promes made it 0-3 in injury time.

Ajax remains the leader of the Eredivisie, although Vitesse can also reach 21 points later on Sunday with a victory over FC Emmen. FC Utrecht is in the middle bracket with nine points from seven games.

Bad news for Ajax was Antony’s withdrawal. The winger was left in the locker room at half time due to a hamstring injury.

Davy Klaassen scored the opening goal in Utrecht. (Photo: Pro Shots)

Hake’s most important intervention as an interim trainer was a goalkeeper change: Maarten Paes started again under the bar and Thijmen Nijhuis was on the bench.

Paes did not have much to do in the first half of his first Eredivisie game since mid-October. Ajax had no less than 71 percent of the ball, but was too sloppy to create many opportunities.

After twenty minutes Paes had to intervene with a shot from former FC Utrecht player Zakaria Labyad, who found the keeper’s leg. Fifteen minutes later, Tadic hit the crossbar. On the other hand, the home team was even less dangerous. André Onana only had to save on a shot from Gyrano Kerk just before half time.

Tommy St. Jago caused a penalty kick for a foul on Ajax forward Lassina Traoré. (Photo: Pro Shots)

Ajax started the second half with David Neres, who came on for the injured Antony. Nicolás Tagliafico also seemed to suffer from his hamstrings, but the Argentinian was able to continue and after an hour he was close to 0-1 with a shot just over the bar. Just before that, Kerk had a big chance on behalf of Utrecht, but he did not come out well after a cross from Mimoun Mahi and also aimed over.

In the 62nd minute, the first goal of the match was scored. Tadic was at the base of the attack with a nice deep pass to Neres, the Brazilian led from the left to Labyad, who handily extended the ball to Klaassen. The midfielder hit home and scored his fourth goal in four Eredivisie matches.

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