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We had to wait six months for the first top in the premier league, but Sunday was finally the day. Ajax took on PSV at home. The entertaining topper ended in a tie (2-2). "This match was advertising for the premier league", said Ibrahim Afellay at the table of Studio Voetbal.
"From the first minute, PSV clapped on it", analyzed the former PSV'er. "Ajax didn't hit it in the first twenty minutes. If you get a 2-0 lead like that, you're waiting for PSV to get on and on, but as the match progressed you already felt it slipped through their hands."
"In the beginning of the match PSV was able to keep the lines close together, but at one point they couldn't do it anymore", according to Afellay.
"They brought too little depth", Pierre van Hooijdonk added. "I don't know if that's fatigue. But it's not the first time they've had such a decay in a match."
Ajax came back strong in the second half, but Rafael van der Vaart and Afellay were pretty critical of midfielder Davy Klaassen. "Ajax played awkwardly and a lot of wrong choices were made. Klaassen just didn't dare to play forward, I was a bit disappointed", said Van der Vaart.
"You do expect from an Ajax midfielder of that calibre that you can play under the pressure of PSV, that you are creative", Afellay was of the opinion. "Gravenberch has that, for example. He always has a creative solution ahead of him."
The game of PSV attacker Donyell Malen was very popular. "When you see how he puts the ball away at the first goal, that's out of category", Afellay praised Malen's assist at the first goal from Eran Zahavi.
According to Van Hooijdonk, however, Malen does not yet have to make the step to a foreign club. "He hasn't played at PSV for four years. First he has to make sure that he becomes the best in the Dutch league. Once you've reached that status, you can move on."
Record purchase Sébastien Haller started at Ajax on the couch. "Because he had a busy week," Erik ten Hag said. The analysts of Studio Soccer didn't agree. "That's such nonsense", Pierre van Hooijdonk was of the opinion.
"As if it's higher math to play at the top of Ajax. Come on, Haller's from the Premier League. He really knows what to do. Haller is no doubt to me," continued Van Hooijdonk. "He's got depth, good rounding and he's physically very strong."
On the question whether Haller Ajax will make champion this season, Van Hooijdonk answered convincingly. "This is a purchase to secure the championship. That's what Ajax is all about and I think Haller is going to do it. Interim purchases are not for nothing."
Look below at a reminder by Rafael van der Vaart of Edgar Davids and the fixed sections in Studio Soccer: Final Signal, Short Corner and Eredivisie weekend in a nutshell.