PSV defeated Ajax for the third time this season. Ruud van Nistelrooij’s team was too strong in the classic on Sunday afternoon, 3-0. The victory enabled the Eindhoven team to take over the runner-up position from the Amsterdam team.
Last Friday, the classic was labelled in the media as the duel between the lame and the blind. This was reflected on the pitch, as the play of both teams was underwhelming.
PSV managed to score the first goal after some 10 minutes of play. Just like in the away match, it was Luuk de Jong who found the net first. The striker headed in a cross from forward Johan Bakayoko. After the opening goal, PSV slumped, but Ajax could not tur this to their advantage. At 1-0, both teams sought the locker rooms.
After half-time, Belgian Bakayoko had the opportunity to double the lead, but he shot wide when facing the goalkeeper. Not much later, there was a goal. Xavi Simons was brought down by Ajax keeper Gerónimo Rulli and the ball went to the penalty spot. The midfielder shot from 11 metres out.
With an hour on the clock, the match was temporarily suspended because a PSV supporter threw an object onto the pitch. The game resumed after 15 minutes*. Ajax midfielder Kenneth Taylor seemed to score the tying goal, but his effort only hit both posts (first left then right). In the closing stages, PSV secured the win. Luuk de Jong’s second goal of the match made it 3-0.
With the win, PSV took over second place from Ajax. An important spot on the Eredivisie league table, as it means participation in the preliminary round of the Champions League and, if placed, a million-dollar reward. Next Sunday, Ruud van Nistelrooij’s team will take on Ajax in the cup final.
*In an effort to stop supporters from throwing things onto the pitch, a new rule has come into force dictating that play is supended when no person is hit, and stopped altogether when a person does get hit. (ed. Greta)