Ajax trounce Venlo

Ajax broke their own 48-year Eredivisie record on Saturday when they hammered Venlo 13-0 in the biggest ever win in the history of the division.

Lassina Traore struck five times as the defending champions outdid Johan Cruyff’s Ajax, whose 12-1 win over Vitesse Arnhem has stood as the top flight’s record win since May 1972 — the season the Amsterdam club won the league title and the second of their four European Cups.

The 19-year-old’s goals were the first of the league campaign and put him one behind Feyenoord’s Steven Berghuis who leads the scoring charts.

He is also the first Ajax player to score five goals in an Eredivisie game since Marco van Basten in 1985.

The incredible win puts Erik ten Hag’s Ajax top of the division, two points ahead of PSV Eindhoven and three in front of third-placed Vitesse with both of those sides facing off at Sunday lunchtime in the sixth round of matches of the 2020/21 season.

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Feyenoord and FC Twente, who take on FC Utrecht on Saturday, are four points further back.

Venlo are in mid-table on five points with a goal difference of -13 after conceding more than half of all the goals scored against them this season in just one match.

They have not won since the opening day of the season.

Jurgen Ekkelenkamp gave Ajax the lead after 13 minutes when he touched home Traore’s close-range header, and the Burkina Faso international turned from provider to finisher four minutes later when he headed home Antony’s curling cross.

Traore had the easiest of tap-ins to make it 3-0 in the 32nd minute, and Dusan Tadic ended the match as a contest a minute before the break when he span on the edge of the area and forced a low shot home.

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Christian Kum was handed a straight red card six minutes after the break and after that the floodgates opened, with forward Traore completing his hat-trick two minutes later and Ajax scoring three more times in five minutes to take their tally to eight.

Antony laid on a headed goal that was an almost carbon copy of his first in the 65th minute and then substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar broke the double figures barrier from the spot with 16 minutes remaining before tapping home his second just two minutes later.

It ony took another two minutes for demoralised Venlo to concede a 12th, Lisandro Martinez strolling towards the area and curling home a smooth finish, and Traore completed the destruction with three minutes remaining when he lashed home his fifth on the counter.

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AFP/NAN