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Key Events

D. van de Beek
R. Bazoer
V. Fischer
A. Younes
M. Kramer
R. Tapia
E. Elia
J. Toornstra
N. Gudelj
Penalty Miss
K. Vermeer
Yellow Card
R. Bazoer
Goal
B. Başacıkoğlu
Yellow Card
N. Viergever
Yellow Card
R. Bazoer
Yellow Card
A. Younes
Goal
D. Klaassen
Assist
J. Toornstra
Goal
T. Vilhena
Assist
N. Viergever
J. Riedewald
L. Schöne
Yellow Card
3
3
2
2

Stats

Possession
% %
6
3
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 2 5
Total Passes 514 325

Commentary

The win moves Ajax back up to the top of the Eredivisie table, although they will drop back down to second place if previous leaders PSV are able to beat Utrecht later this afternoon. Meanwhile, Feyenoord remain in fourth, 16 points behind today's opponents, but will fall to fifth if NEC win against bottom side De Graafschap in a game that is just about to kick off.
The referee blows his whistle for the final time and brings another thrilling Klassieker encounter to an end! Despite both sides enjoying themselves and putting in good shifts at both ends of the pitch, it's one that Ajax arguably deserved to win, as they looked better going forward and did well to cause problems for a Feyenoord back line that, whilst looking better than they have in recent weeks, still aren't performing as well as they did earlier in the season.
FULL-TIME: AJAX 2-1 FEYENOORD
With only a few seconds remaining, Feyenoord revert to flinging a plethora of balls forward as they try to find a way through Ajax's resolute back line, but none of them are able to do so before Van der Hoorn clears the danger once and for all with an almighty hoof up towards the halfway line. That is surely that for the hosts, who are incredibly close to moving back to the top of the Eredivisie table.
Elia flies into Veltman and brings the left-back crashing to the ground with a reckless challenge, resulting in a free-kick for Ajax near to the corner flag. Unsurprisingly, the hosts decide to take it short and hold on to possession for as long as possible, but a combination of the aforementioned winger and Kongolo are able to win the ball back for the visitors before attempting to kick-start a late counter-attack.
Almost a terrible mistake by Botteghin! The Brazilian is caught sleeping on the ball and ends up getting his pocket picked deep inside the Feyenoord half of the pitch. El Ghazi, who had dispossessed the defender, then flies into the penalty area before spinning and cutting a pass towards Schone, but Kongolo is there to cut out the danger at the vital moment with an excellent sliding interception.
The fourth official has indicated that there will be three minutes of added time.
Ball after ball is being flung into the Ajax penalty area, but no matter what they try to do the visitors just can't seem to turn their possession into a chance on goal. Ajax are now sitting incredibly deep inside their own half of the pitch as they look to hold on to their slender lead, and with such a short amount of time left it looks as if they may end up achieving their goal.
Wonderful catch by Cillessen! It's all Feyenoord at the moment as they desperately push forward in search of a late equaliser. Ajax look to have dealt with the danger only for Gudelj to slip and lose possession, allowing the visitors to come back once again. El Ahmadi then drifts out to the right before chipping a lovely cross into the heart of the box, but the hosts' goalkeeper is there to cut out the danger before the ball can find the head of Kramer.
Great defending by Karsdorp! After a half-hearted Feyenoord attacking move breaks down, Ajax fly forward on a quick counter-attack in search of a goal that would surely wrap up all three points. Fischer sprints towards the penalty area and gets himself into a good position before trying to tee up El Ghazi with a well-placed through-ball, but the aforementioned defender does wonderfully well to out-muscle the forward before shepherding the ball out for a goal-kick.
Ajax work the ball around quickly midway inside the Feyenoord half of the pitch before sending it out to El Ghazi on the right wing. In plenty of space, he's able to take his time controlling it before whipping a looping cross into the box, but Vermeer is comfortably able to collect it with a strong catch.
D. van de Beek
R. Bazoer
Ajax
Ajax have made their final substitution of the game, with Bazoer making way for Van de Beek.
Chance for Kramer! Basacikoglu picks up the ball in a good position down the right wing and immediately curls a dangerous cross into the heart of the penalty area, where it finds the substitute striker, but his looping header from 10 yards out is sent straight at Cillessen, making life very easy for the Ajax goalkeeper.
Feyenoord, who have been forced back into the own half of the pitch over the past few minutes due to Ajax's dominance, are finally able to push forward on a determined attacking move, with Vilhena doing well to break through the middle of the pitch. He charges towards the edge of the box before picking out Elia with a well-placed through-ball, but the winger's run is mistimed and the linesman's flag is quickly raised as a result.
The ball bounces around midway inside the Feyenoord half of the pitch before Klaassen is finally able to take it under his control. He then pokes a lovely pass into the feet of Fischer, who immediately spins and tries to beat Botteghin, but the Brazilian defender stands tall and dispossesses the Dane before he's able to pick out El Ghazi, who had made a great run forward.
V. Fischer
A. Younes
Ajax
Younes receives a loud round of applause from the Ajax fans as he's replaced by Fischer for the final 15 minutes of the game.
Two good chances for Ajax! First, El Ghazi breaks forward at speed and unleashes a thumping low strike from the edge of the penalty area, but Van Beek is just about able to throw his body in the way of it to stop it from testing Vermeer. The ball then bounces out to Bazoer, who ignores the crowd's suggestion to shoot and instead tees up Younes, who is unable to find a way past Karsdorp on the left-hand side of the Feyenoord box and is forced into earning his side a corner.
M. Kramer
R. Tapia
Feyenoord
And now Feyenoord have made their second alteration, with Tapia making way for Kramer.
Elia is immediately involved in the action as he showcases his silky smooth skills down the left wing, but his final pass is poor and fails to pick out Basacikoglu, which allows Veltman to easily pick up the ball on the left-hand side of the Ajax penalty area.
E. Elia
J. Toornstra
Feyenoord
Feyenoord have decided to make their first change of the game, with Elia coming on to replace Toornstra.
N. Gudelj
Penalty Miss
Ajax
MISS! What a poor penalty by Gudelj! The Serbian has a great opportunity to give his side a two-goal lead but ends up scuffing his strike several yards over the top of the crossbar. He really should have done better with that!
K. Vermeer
Yellow Card
Feyenoord
PENALTY! Things have gone from bad to worse for Feyenoord! Klaassen flies past Van Beek, who isn't anywhere near good enough as he tries to deal with the Ajax captain, before being clattered into by Vermeer, who charges out to try and deal with the danger but ends up tripping the number 10 to the ground.
R. Bazoer
Goal
Ajax
GOAL! What a strike by Bazoer! Once again, Younes charges forward and puts the Feyenoord back line under an incredible amount of pressure. He's eventually dispossessed but the ball ends up rolling out to the hosts' number 6, who immediately fires a rocket of a shot from 20 yards out that flies past Vermeer and into the top right-hand corner of the net. What a fantastic way to go in front!
Lovely play by Ajax! Younes, who has arguably been the hosts' best player today, twists and turns on the edge of the Feyenoord penalty area before spinning and teeing up Klaassen, who then sends a lovely pass out to Schone on the right. The Dane immediately tries to pick out the aforementioned goalscorer with a chipped cross, but it ends up missing his head by the narrowest of margins.
The resulting set-piece is flung by Schone into the heart of the penalty area, but, as has been the case for the vast majority of the game thus far, Feyenoord are easily able to deal with the Dane's cross and comfortably clear the danger.
B. Başacıkoğlu
Yellow Card
Feyenoord
Ajax move the ball around wonderfully well deep inside the Feyenoord half of the pitch, with Klaassen being the most important player in the attacking move. He plays a great pass out to Veltman, who then tries to skip past Basacikoglu on the right flank, but the winger clumsily trips the right-back after being beaten and, as a result, is shown a yellow card.
N. Viergever
Yellow Card
Ajax
The yellow card is out once again, and this time it's for a high foot from Viergever, who clumsily and cynically clashes with Vilhena to stop the midfielder from breaking forward on a quick counter-attack.
Once again, Younes does well to weave his way down the left flank before firing a low cross off a blue shirt and out for a corner. It's whipped into the heart of the penalty area, where it looks set to find Klaassen, but just as the captain is about to reach the ball with his head, Botteghin pops up and sends it away from danger with a strong clearance at the vital moment.
Ajax are playing with a bit more belief at the moment as they continue to pile forward into the Feyenoord half of the pitch. As was the case at the start of the game, the visitors have started to sit slighly deeper, which is allowing the hosts the opportunity to continuously get into good positions inside the final third of the pitch.
Younes charges down the left flank on a great run before trying to pick out Schone with a deep, looping cross towards the far post, but it's slightly overhit and, as a result, the Dane is unable to meet the ball before it bounces out of play for a Feyenoord goal-kick.
It's been a sloppy start to the second half from both sides, with neither able to find much joy inside the final third of the pitch in the opening exchanges. The game seems to be continuing on from the end of the first period in terms of intensity and anger, but it's resulting in the match being contested primarily in the middle of the pitch, where the two teams are battling hard for possession.
And now Basacikoglu is clattered into! The winger flies down the left wing as he tries to latch onto a lofted pass forward, but just as he's about to make contact with the ball he's taken out of the game by Veltman, who lunges into his opponent with a wild sliding challenge. He gets the ball whilst also catching some of the man, but the referee says that it's fair and waves play on.
R. Bazoer
Yellow Card
Ajax
Bazoer is very lucky indeed! The midfielder charges forward in search of a loose ball that is eventually picked up by Tapia, and he then decides to fly into the Peru international with a terribly-timed challenge. There's a hint of two-footedness about it, but the referee only shows him a yellow card.
And we're underway once again!
The two teams are making their way back out onto the pitch ahead of the start of the second half. Neither side have made any substitutions during the half-time break.
Angry whistles ring around the Amsterdam Arena as the two sides make their way off the pitch, and it's certainly been an opening 45 minutes that was characterised by two contrasting halves. In the first period both teams were playing some lovely football, with Ajax starting the brighter before Feyenoord hit them on the break with a wonderful goal scored by Toornstra. But since the hosts' equaliser it's been a cagey and turbulent affair, with neither side able to find a second goal due to rash challenges and angry arguments. However, the visitors will arguably be the happier of the two, as their current situation means that leaving the capital with even a point would be a great achievement.
HALF-TIME: AJAX 1-1 FEYENOORD
They're at it again! The pace of the game has been ruined by several poor challenges and angry outbursts, and this time it's a cynical shove on Klaassen by El Ahmadi that results in a heated exchange between several players from both sides. For now, the referee has decided to keep his cards in his pocket, but it surely won't be long before the increasing volatile nature of the game results in someone getting booked for bad behaviour.
It's heating up again! Vilhena, who has arguably been one of the best players on the pitch thus far, charges into Bazoer and ends up bringing him crashing to the ground with a hefty shoulder-barge. The Ajax midfielder isn't happy at all, resulting in a fiery exchange of words that the referee does well to bring an end to with a stern talking-to for both players.
Ajax don't seem to be playing with the same intensity and flair that characterised their attacking moves at the start of the game, and, as a result, they're finding it increasingly difficult to find a way through the Feyenoord back line. It's been a relatively comfortable 10 minutes for the visitors, who look far more defensively solid than they have in recent weeks.
Once again, Vilhena picks up the ball in a dangerous position and flies forward on a quick counter-attack. His path is swiftly blocked by the well-organised Ajax defence, but he does well to pick out Toornstra with a chipped pass towards the edge of the hosts' penalty area. However, the goalscorer's run is slightly mistimed and, as a result, the linesman's flag is quickly raised for offside.
Great play by Vilhena! A lofted pass forward bounces into the Ajax penalty area and looks as if it's going to be easily dealt with by Van der Hoorn. However, the centre-back takes far too long on the ball and is quickly muscled off it by the aforementioned Feyenoord midfielder, who then spins before unleashing a rocket of a shot that Cillessen does well to parry away with a strong diving save.
It's been an interesting few minutes, as Feyenoord have arguably been the better of the two sides. After starting the game far too deep inside their own half of the pitch, they have now decided to push further up the field as they look to put Ajax under an increasing amount of pressure, which has resulted in them enjoying their fair share of possession, particularly in the final third.
It's heating up! Both teams seem to be playing with an intensity that was missing from the game's early exchanges, and there are now a plethora of meaty challenges flying in all over the place as the contest increases to a blisteringly quick tempo.
Off the line! Feyenoord push forward quickly and put the Ajax back line under an incredible amount of pressure, resulting in a corner for the visitors on the right wing. It's flung into the middle of the box, where it finds Tapia, but the Peruvian midfielder's looping header is deflected away by Van der Hoorn before it can find the back of the net.
What a terrible mistake by Botteghin! Under pressure from El Ghazi, the Feyenoord defender ends up underhitting a terrible backpass towards Vermeer that is quickly picked up by the aforementioned Dutch winger. He flies into the right-hand side of the penalty area and rounds the goalkeeper before heading along the byline, but he holds onto the ball for far too long instead of cutting it back to Klaassen, which allows the former Ajax shot-stopper to dispossess him at the vital moment.
Another opportunity for Klaassen! Once again the midfielder finds himself in a great position inside the Feyenoord penalty area after both of the visitors' centre-backs completely fall asleep, but he's unable to test Vermeer with his close-range header and, off balance, ends up sending it looping several yards over the top of the crossbar.
Chance for Klaassen! Dijks picks up the ball in space on the left wing and immediately sends a beautifully-weighted lofted pass over the Feyenoord defence and into the path of the Ajax number 10. He brings it down well before firing a volley towards the roof of the net, but Botteghin is just about able to throw his body in front of the shot to stop it from troubling Vermeer.
Great save by Cillessen! Feyenoord pile bodies forward as they aim to get back in front, and they end up winning themselves a free-kick in a dangerous position after Vilhena is fouled by Gudelj just outside of the box. The Dutch midfielder steps up and unleashes a curling strike from the set-piece, but the Ajax goalkeeper does weonderfully well to keep it out with a well-timed diving save.
A. Younes
Goal
Ajax
GOAL! Ajax have equalised! Younes flies into the left-hand side of the Feyenoord box and does wonderfully well to stop the ball from going out of play. He then skips past Karsdorp before taking Botteghin out of the game with a lovely sidestep, and a beautiful move is brought to an excellent end with a well-placed low shot that beats bounces off the far post and into the back of the net.
D. Klaassen
Assist
Ajax
Assist Davy Klaassen
Veltman, who has spent the vast majority of the opening 20 minutes camped inside the Feyenoord half of the pitch, once again gets forward well before trying to weave his way into the penalty area. He initially shows good skill to beat two players, but his final touch is poor and sends the ball rolling into the safe hands of Vermeer.
It's all Ajax at the moment as they desperately try to find a way back into the game. That goal seems to have really shaken them, as up until then they were in full control. As a result, Feyenoord are finding it increasingly easy to defend against their half-hearted attacking moves, none of which are resulting in clear-cut chances on goal.
The resulting set-piece is half dealt with by the Feyenoord defence, who do well to clear the initial danger but can only send the ball out to Dijks on the left wing. With acres of space around him, the left-back decides to try his luck from 30 yards out, but, unsurprisingly, his audacious effort ends up flying well wide of the goal, much to the frustration of the home fans.
Schone picks up the ball just outside of the Feyenoord penalty area and immediately tries to muscle his way into the box, but his path is blocked by Kongolo, who fouls the forward in the process. The Dane steps up and fires a shot from the set-piece, but it's slightly underhit and takes a deflection off the wall that sends it looping out of play for a corner on the right flank.
J. Toornstra
Goal
Feyenoord
GOAL! Completely against the run of play, Feyenoord have taken the lead! After an Ajax attack breaks down, the visitors are finally able to push forward on their first meaningful attacking move of the game. They work the ball around nicely down the right wing, with Kuyt playing a particularly important role, before sending it in towards the edge of the penalty area. Toornstra picks it up in a great position and twists and turns past two defenders before unleashing a thumping low strike from 20 yards that flies past the outstretched hands of Cillessen before finding the bottom right-hand corner of the net. The home fans are absolutely stunned!
T. Vilhena
Assist
Feyenoord
Assist Tonny Emilio Trindade de Vilhena
N. Viergever
J. Riedewald
Ajax
Ajax have been forced into making an early change due to Riedewald picking up what looks like an ankle injury. On in his place comes Viergever, who will slot straight into the middle of the defence.
It's been a comfortable opening period of the game for Ajax, who are controlling possession in the middle of the pitch and finding life very easy whenever pushing into the Feyenoord half. So far, the visitors have been forced into sitting deep as they attempt to keep the determined hosts at bay, which has resulted in them seeing very little of the ball.
Once again, Ajax find joy when pushing down the right flank, and this time it's Schone who is able to get himself into a good position inside the final third of the pitch. He breaks forward at speed before chipping in a cross from the edge of the box, but it's cut out by Botteghin before it can find a red and white shirt, resulting in a corner for the hosts that Feyenoord are easily able to deal with.
Veltman breaks down the right wing and cuts inside before teeing up Bazoer, who is left in far too much space just outside of the Feyenoord penalty area. As a result, the midfielder decides to unleash a rocket of a strike, but there's slightly too much power on the effort and it ends up sailing comfortably over the top of the crossbar.
L. Schöne
Yellow Card
Ajax
With just three minutes on the clock, the referee has already been forced into making the first booking of the game. After dealing with the Ajax free-kick, Feyenoord try to break forward on a quick counter-attack through Basacikoglu. He sprints towards the halfway line before being dragged to the ground by Schone, resulting in an early yellow card for the Danish forward.
Ajax patiently pass the ball around inside the Feyenoord half of the pitch before Veltman is clumsily tripped over by Tapia just outside of the visitors' penalty area, resulting in a free-kick for the hosts in a very dangerous position. The set-piece is chipped into the middle of the box, where a group of red and white shirts are waiting, but Van Beek is just about able to get a head on the ball to send it flying away from danger.
And we're off! Feyenoord get us underway, attacking from left to right.
The two sides are making their way out onto the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off. The atmosphere inside the stadium is electric, and both sets of fans are in fine voice.
Meanwhile, Feyenoord boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst has also made three alterations to the side that featured in the aforementioned cup victory during the week, with Miquel Nelom, Marko Vejinovic and Eljero Elia making way for Renato Tapia, Jens Toornstra and Bilal Basacikoglu.
Frank de Boer has decided to make three changes to the Ajax side that were held to a 2-2 draw by Roda seven days ago, with Mike van der Hoorn, Davy Klaassen and Lasse Schone coming into the starting line-up to replace Ricardo van Rhijn, Daley Sinkgraven and Arkadiusz Milik.
Feyenoord substitutes: Vejinovic, Van der Heijden, Elia, Nelom, Hansson, Nieuwkoop, Kramer.
Feyenoord XI (4-4-3): Vermeer; Karsdorp, Van Beek, Botteghin, Kongolo; Vilhena, Tapia, El Ahmadi; Toornstra, Kuyt, Basacikoglu.
Ajax substitutes: Van Rhijn, Fischer, Sinkgraven, Milik, Viergever, Van de Beek, Boer.
Ajax XI (4-3-3): Cillessen; Veltman, Van der Hoorn, Riedewald, Dijks; Bazoer, Klaassen, Gudelj; Schone, El Ghazi, Younes.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up morning…
The only thing giving Ajax solace at the moment is the knowledge that their struggles are nothing compared to that of Feyenoord. Last season’s fourth-place finishers currently sit in the same spot this campaign but are suffering a woeful run of form that has seen them lose their last five consecutive league games - the first time that they have done so in their 107-year history. As a result, they have plummeted down the table and are now just two points ahead of in-form AZ, who are fast approaching thanks to another victory this weekend. It’s at the back where the Rotterdam club have suffered so much, and in those five aforementioned consecutive defeats they have shipped a whopping 13 goals, almost half of their figure for the entire season thus far. A win, albeit a very narrow one, against Roda in the KNVB Beker during the week may have given them a little bit of confidence heading into this morning’s big clash, but they are going to have to dramatically improve if they are to come away from the Amsterdam Arena with anything at all.
It’s been an up and down season for Ajax, who head into this morning’s game sitting in second place after struggling to set the league alight. Despite winning 15 of their 21 domestic games, they have struggled against teams in the top half of the table, with PSV, Utrecht, Heracles and, most importantly, Feyenoord all failing to be beaten by a team that are usually so outstanding. Problems in front of goal have made life difficult for Frank de Boer’s men, and that has particularly been the case over the past few weeks. After scoring 12 goals in just three games in the run-up to Christmas, the club from the capital have managed to find the back of the net just six times since the start of December, with two of those goals coming in last weekend’s frustrating 2-2 draw away to Roda. With league leaders PSV unbeaten in their last 15 Eredivisie games (the last five of which have all ended in victories), the 33-time champions desperately need to return to winning ways, and soon. What better place to do so than here against their bitter rivals?
Once again it’s time for De Klassieker, the biggest and, arguably, the best game in Dutch football. Since 1921, Ajax and Feyenoord have met each other 178 times, and during that period the two teams have treated us to a plethora of fantastic encounters. With both sides suffering from their fair share of problems, and with today’s hosts desperate to regain top spot after surrendering it to PSV last weekend, the 179th should be equally exciting, and it is one that both teams will be desperate to win, for very different reasons.
Good morning and welcome to our live text commentary of today’s Eredivisie game between Ajax and Feyenoord at the Amsterdam Arena.
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