Champions League a possibility for Ajax after victory over Utrecht and Heerenveen draw with PSV

Champions League football remains a possibility for Ajax next season after their thrilling 3-1 victory over Utrecht on Sunday. Much like the majority of this season, Ajax made it difficult for themselves. John Heitinga’s side accumulated a staggering total of 27 shots in the match, only managing to direct nine of them on target. 

Ajax opened the scoring 20 minutes into the tie through Steven Bergwijn. The former Tottenham talent lashed the ball into the bottom left corner of the Utrecht goal from the edge of the box. After several wasted Ajax attacks, Utrecht equalised early in the second half. It was their main man and the league’s top goalscorer, Tasos Douvikas who equalised from inside the area. 

With a feeling of frustration floating around the Johan Cruyff Arena, Ajax continued to create opportunities. Eventually, it was Brian Brobbey who put his side back in front. A header across goal from Mohammed Kudus landed at the feet of Brobbey who tapped the ball into an empty net. Davy Klaassen added another in stoppage time, to give the supporters something to celebrate in the final home game of the season. 

As well as their results, Ajax are depending on the results from teams around them in the league to help determine their European status next season. The Amsterdam giants are currently third in the league, a position that would see them play Europa League football next season. Breathing down the back of their necks in fourth place is AZ Alkmaar, who are just two points behind them. If Ajax slip into fourth place next weekend, it will be their worst league finish since the 05/06 campaign. The club will also be left fighting for Europa Conference League football. 

Just three points ahead of Ajax in second place are PSV. Rather surprisingly Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side drew 3-3 at home to Heerenveen on Sunday. This sets up an incredibly exciting final day of the season next weekend. Ajax take on Twente away from home, whilst PSV play in-form AZ Alkmaar away from home. If Ajax win and PSV lose to AZ, Ajax will soar up to second place, meaning Champions League football will be heading to Amsterdam next season. 

GBeNeFN Hugo Hargreaves

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