How Ten Hag's Ajax moved closer to the Eredivisie title
It was announced last week that Erik ten Hag will become Manchester United's new permanent manager and the Dutchman has described his appointment as an “honour”, but right now his mind is fixed on Ajax and an Eredivisie title race that could go down to the wire.
Ten Hag's team is currently four points clear of fierce rivals PSV Eindhoven at the top of the table and they moved a step closer to the championship by earning an important 1-0 win at NEC Nijmegen on Saturday, thanks to an 88th-minute goal from second-half substitute Brian Brobbey.
While it was not a vintage performance by Ajax, the Amsterdammers showed a lot of heart and Ten Hag was pleased by the patience his players showed.
“One thing I was happy about was that the team stayed calm,” said Erik. “They didn't get too frantic. And that's when you get the goal.”
Just in time 😳#necaja pic.twitter.com/zB3O3Evt5V— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) April 24, 2022
👏👏👏#necaja pic.twitter.com/cFrZdY4GNJ— AFC Ajax (@AFCAjax) April 23, 2022
Their victory has maintained the pressure on Ajax with four matches left to play but, in reality, Roger Schmidt's side need to win all of their remaining games to maintain any hope of winning the title.
Head coach Schmidt was impressed by his team’s resilience and he’s looking forward to a tense finale to the current campaign.
“We’ve won the game and at the end of the day, that’s all that matters,” he said. “With four league games left, a lot may still happen. We will focus entirely on our own game and turn our attention to the remaining fixtures.”
PSV are also set for a change of manager in the summer, of course, following the recent announcement that their club legend and former United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy would take over.
Zahavi & @MarioGoetze seal the win in Leeuwarden ✔#CAMPSV— PSV (@PSV) April 25, 2022
NEXT UP IN THE TITLE RACE
Ten Hag’s Ajax are next in action on Saturday evening and they know that a win would apply even more pressure on PSV, who don’t play until the Sunday afternoon. Take a look at the remaining fixtures…
30 April, 19:45 BST: PEC Zwolle (h)
8 May, 15:45 BST: AZ Alkmaar (a)
11 May, 19:00 BST: Heerenveen (h)
15 May, 13:30 BST: Vitesse Arnhem (a)
1 May, 13:30 BST: Willem II (h)
8 May, 13:30 BST: Feyenoord (a)
11 May, 19:00 BST: NEC Nijmegan (h)
15 May, 13:30 BST: PEC Zwolle (a)
30/34 ✅️ 👎, 🔥 of 🔥🔥? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/kLWcKzTyMv— Eredivisie (@eredivisie) April 24, 2022