Luis Suárez turned in a vintage performance to help AFC Ajax defeat NK Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 and claim the Group A leadership.
Ajax started the game on two points having scored just one goal in their previous two UEFA Europa League fixtures, but within three minutes Suárez had won and scored a penalty. The Uruguayan was at the heart of all the home team's best work and with Dinamo beginning to threaten in the second half, he set up Dennis Rommedahl to score a second. It proved crucial after Ivan Tomečak's added-time effort for the visitors.
There was a boisterous atmosphere inside the Amsterdam ArenA and three minutes in, the home players helped raise the noise levels. The elusive Suárez picked the ball up in his favourite inside-right channel and lured Mario Mandžukić into bringing him down. The 22-year-old picked himself up and confidently drilled in the spot-kick.
That was the highlight of a first half short on real chances, although Suárez continued his influential role after the break, popping up at the end of a flowing move to smash a shot off the post. A minute later he hit a similar rising drive which Filip Lončarić tipped over. However, Dinamo began to dictate proceedings as Ajax's attacking ambitions fell away.
Luckily for the hosts, Suárez was still on top of his game, a clever pass releasing Demy de Zeeuw who slid his shot against the post. And it was Suárez who made the clinching goal, dribbling to the byline and giving substitute Rommedahl the simple task of poking in from a couple of metres out nine minutes from time. Tomečak drove in from the edge of the area, but it was too little, too late for the Croatian visitors, who host the return fixture on 5 November.