Forever Ajacied: Lodeiro shines in MLS playoffs

In Forever Ajacied, we take a weekly look at the performances of former Ajax players around the globe.

ENGLAND

It was a frustrating afternoon once again for Jose Mourinho and Manchester United. Zlatan Ibrahimovic had an astounding 12 total shots against Burnley (four on target, five blocked), but was thwarted time and time again by Tom Heaton. The striker also missing a sitter in the dying moments as the Red Devils were held to a scoreless draw by the Clarets at Old Trafford on Saturday. Daley Blind also started for the hosts and was largely untroubled in defence, making a team high nine clearances.

It was a better day for the pair on Wednesday as they defeated their rivals Manchester City 1-0 in the League Cup. Zlatan Ibrahimovic assisted Juan Mata’s winner, while Daley Blind impressed in helping to keep a clean sheet.

Christian Eriksen and Jan Vertonghen played 90 minutes as Tottenham dropped more points on Saturday in a 1-1 draw with Leicester City. Vertonghen was partially at fault for the goal as he could not combat the pace of the Foxes on the break, but it was the lone blemish on an otherwise stout performance as he made 17 clearances and won nine of his 11 aerial duels, while completing a team high in passes. Neither of them featured in the League Cup midweek. Toby Alderweireld is nearing a return from injury and could be available for next Sunday’s North London Derby at the Emirates.

Maarten Stekelenberg missed out on Everton’s 2-0 victory on Sunday with what boss Ronald Koeman referred to as a “swollen foot,” but should not be considered anything worse than day-to-day.

Middlesbrough picked up just their second win of the Premier League season, against Bournemouth on Saturday, though it was no thanks to Viktor Fischer who was limited to a late cameo, coming on in the 93rd minute.

Mike van der Hoorn played the full 90 minutes for Swansea, completing more passes than any of his team-mates (Opta), though he struggled in defence as Stoke ran out 3-1 winners on Monday night.

Vurnon Anita played the majority of the second half as Newcastle beat Preston North End 6-0 in the League Cup on Tuesday, though he was an unused substitute in their 2-1 victory on Saturday.

SPAIN

Luis Suarez couldn’t score as he played 83 minutes against last-place Granada, though his Barcelona side narrowly escaped with a 1-0 win. Suarez produced four shots (two on target – a team high), but was also caught offside four times. Jasper Cillessen remained on the bench for this one, a place he’s growing rather familiar with.

Deportivo pulled out of the relegation zone with 1-1 a draw Monday night against Valencia, in which Ryan Babel played 10 minutes off the bench without really factoring into possession.

GERMANY

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had an up-and-down week, scoring in Schalke’s 3-2 DFB Pokal win away to Nurnberg, before being left out of their Bundesliga squad for the weekend’s game. His time in Gelsenkirchen is nearing an end.

Niklas Moisander started at centre-half yet again for Werder Bremen, but he couldn’t help his side avoid a lopsided 3-1 defeat at home to mid-table Freiburg. He won just four of his 12 duels and won back possession only once for his side.

ITALY

Ricardo Kishna continues to struggle to get playing time in Italy, left on the bench in each of Lazio’s victories over Cagliari and Sassuolo.

The same applies to Robert Muric, though his Pescara side lost 1-0 to both Atalanta and Milan.

FRANCE

Unai Emery has been rotating his full-backs with regularity this season, and thus it was Layvin Kurzawa who started PSG’s 1-0 victory over Lille on Friday night, with Maxwell unused as a sub.

NETHERLANDS

Mickey van der Hart and Queensy Menig are big parts of Zwolle’s sudden resurgence. They both played 180 minutes this week. Van der Hart picked up two more wins to add to his resume, 2-1 over VVV Venlo in the KNVB-Cup and 3-1 over Go Ahead Eagles on the weekend, making eight total save between the two starts. Menig opened the scoring inside of two minutes in the latter, though it was his only shot on target.

Danny Hoesen played 20 minutes off the bench in their 1-0 KNVB-Cup defeat at Utrecht, but did not feature in the loss at Willem on the weekend. Hedwiges Maduro was an unused sub in both.

Lerin Duarte played the full 90 on the weekend as Heracles drew 2-2 at home to Sparta, recording two shots on target and a high of eight crosses, and featured for an hour, though was not involved in the goals, as they beat UNA 5-0 in the Cup.

And in the least surprising news of the week, Siem de Jong picked up another injury and was held out of PSV’s cup and league ties.

BELGIUM

Ricardo van Rhijn and Stefano Denswil remain a fixture in defence for title contenders Club Brugge, each starting and playing the full 90 minutes as they kept a pair of clean sheets against league-leaders Zulte-Waregem and last-place Westerlo.

Eyong Enoh continues to eat up minutes in Belgium, playing 180 this week, a tough one for his Standard Liege side who dropped both their matches away to KV Oostende and Gent.

TURKEY

Galatasaray remain without injured duo Wesley Sneijder and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson, but Nigel de Jong came on at the hour-mark and helped see out a 1-0 win away to Adanaspor.

Ismail Aissati created four chances (Opta) in the number-10 role for Alanyaspor, more than any other player, but they were defeated 2-1 away to Kasimpasa. Aras Ozbiliz was an unused substitute as Besiktas drew 1-1 at Genclerbirligi.

Hyun-Jun Suk came on in the 89th minute, a tough ask, but could not help Trabzonspor find a late winner in a 2-2 draw with Rizespor. Gregory van der Wiel remains injured for Fenerbahce.

DENMARK

Rafael van der Vaart was dragged off after an hour as his Midtjylland side failed to close the gap on first as they were defeated 3-1 at home to leaders Copenhagen. Nicolai Boilesen was unavailable for the visitors.

SWITZERLAND

Lucas Andersen played 30 minutes off the bench but he couldn’t help his side come back from 2-0 down as they were defeated by Basel.

Miralem Sulejmani missed out on Young Boys’ 5-0 win over Vaduz due to injury.

SWEDEN

Tobias Sana came off the bench in Malmo’s 3-0 win over bottom-feeders Falkenberg on Wednesday and their 1-0 defeat to lowly Gefle on Saturday, but failed to get on the scoresheet in either, playing 30 and 15 minutes respectively. Markus Rosenberg remains out.

Kennedy played the full 90 minutes twice as Hammarby lost to Ostersunds and drew second-place Norrkoping.

Rasmus Lindgren impressed in a 90-minute outing, but his side were narrowly defeated 2-1 away to AIK on Thursday, and suffered a similar fate on Monday night, playing the duration of their 1-0 loss to Djugarden.

BULGARIA

Jody Lukoki was left glued to the bench as Ludogorets played out to an entertaining 5-3 victory away to Dunav 2010 on Friday.

SERBIA

Lesley de Sa and Ruben Ligeon’s Slovan Bratislava faced an important fixture on Sunday, pitting them against second-place side Podbrezova. They earned a 2-0 win to close the gap on second, but the pair were both unused substitutes – a comment on their possible role with the club.

USA

Though the two never overlapped in Amsterdam, Mauro Rosales and Nicolas Lodeiro share a common bond as Ajacieden, and the two went head-to-head in the quarter-final of their MLS playoff tie on Sunday night.

Nicolas Lodeiro bagged a brace in a man-of-the-match performance as his Seattle Sounders pulled off a 3-0 upset of Mauro Rosales’ first-place FC Dallas in the first-leg of their last-eight tie. Rosales featured for 20 minutes as a second-half substitute.

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