With only 3 more matches to play, PSV are travelling to Kerkrade as national champions. Again. The fourth title for Phillip Cocu became a fact in a sold out Philips Stadium, where Ajax got punished for their attitude prior to the match.
Wow. What happened in Eindhoven, last sunday? Indeed, PSV dominated against Ajax most of the game, scored 3 goals while keeping a clean sheet, saw Ajax finish with 9 players and even had the luxury to bring subsitute goalie Eloy Room in the 89th minute and give Jeroen Zoet a public exchange. How clear can it be that PSV are the deserving new national champions?
Ajax did everything wrong
Arrogant statements throughout the week, a collective failure on the pitch, several yellow and red cards and supporters that threw fireworks on PSV stands after the 3-0 came on the scoreboard. These are some strong examples that showcase the complete failure of the most succesful club in Dutch history, on a day that resulted in the fourth year without a title in Amsterdam. And then we haven’t mentioned the not so sportive interviews by some after the game, and the negative approach of very frustrated supporters who welcomed the Ajax bus back in Amsterdam.
PSV did everything right
Enough about Ajax now. Because Eindhoven has all reason to celebrate what PSV showcased, from the players to the supporters and all the employees and stewards at the Philips Stadium. It may sound euforic or easy to talk this way now that the title is in, but really, there was so much to enjoy before, during and after the game.
First of all, the big mouths from Amsterdam weren’t replied to, if even mentioned. PSV did exactly what it always did: focus on the match, keep the noise out, say the title hasn’t been won. Second, the stadium was packed long before the kick off and the atmosphere amazing. This continued throughout the game and ofcourse after. Third, the players looked very focussed, also after stoppage time, and they kept it until the last whistle.
The game itself didn’t directly start in favor of PSV until after 10 or 15 minutes, when PSV took control and never gave it away. They brought all the energy towards Ajax’ goal and the pressure cracked their wall for the first time in the 23rd minute and the second time in the 38th minute. PSV rested with a 2-0 lead but started the second half with the same focus and this paid off in the 54th minute, after which the Eindhovenaren slowed down a bit.
After Cocu brought Derrick Luckassen for Steven Bergwijn in the 72nd minute, PSV closed the door and frustrated the powerless opponent so much that they ended up scoring two red cards, pluw two more yellows. The ultimate display of power took place in the 89th minute, when Cocu exchanged the goalkeepers, in order to give Jeroen Zoet a standing ovation from the audience, and let Eloy Room make his debut in order to make him more part of the succes the team just realized.
After the match was over, you could see pure joy, honest happiness and a team that celebrated the victory together: players, the technical and medical staff, simply anyone involved in and around the team. Exactly the opposite of the situation in Amsterdam, to come back to that one last time.
Parade and Celebration
Next opponent: Roda JC Kerkrade
After a fantastic match and ditto parade and celebration on the day after, tuesday must have been a bit tough for at least some of the players. The struggling yellow and blacks from Kerkrade obviously hope so. The current number 16 from the Eredivisie hope to finish at least as number 15 and can use all help, so to receive a still-recovering-from-a-hangover red white team from Eindhoven at the Parkstad Limburg Stadion would be very welcome.
It has been 7 years since Roda JC finished as 6th on the ranking. Ever since, the club tumbled down and even relegated in 2014. After one year in the Jupiler League, they got promoted again, but finished 14th and 17th the following years and are still lost on several levels: managerially, financially and sportively. They also haven’t had a trainer for longer than one season since 2012, and much of the players of the current selection have short (often loan) contracts too. Only 5 players have been with the club for 4 years or longer.Even crazier is the fact the selection of 28 players contains only 12 Dutch players, making the squad a real foreign legion.
It’s hard to find something like a clear long term vision or stability in Kerkrade.
Throughout history, PSV and Roda JC played 102 matches against each other: 87 in the Eredivisie, 14 in the Cup tournament and 1 friendly match. PSV won 64 and lost only 15 of those, scored 224 goals and conceded 98. In the competition, they won 43 of the away games and lost only 12, scored 73 and conceded 49 goals. Of the last 5 away games, PSV won 3 and drew twice. The biggest victories took place in 1975 and 1986, when PSV beat the Koempels both times with 0-4.
Goalkeeper Hidde Jurjus – on loan from PSV, defender Adil Auassar, midfielder Simon Gustafson and attackers Mikhail Rosheuvel and Dani Schahin are the only 5 players that made more than 2000 minutes for Roda. Topscorers Schahin and Gustafson, both on loan, netted the ball 8 both. PSV’s top scorers are Hirving Lozano (15), Marco van Ginkel (14) and Luuk De Jong (12). PSV has 9 players that made more than 2000 minutes, of which only Van Ginkel is on loan. PSV can still break their own club record and reach to 89 points if they win all three remaining matches.
Injuries & Suspensions
Again, only Maxi Romero and Pascal Lundqvist are injured, no one suspended; a confirmation of the great teamwork of PSV as a club.
Match: Roda JC – PSV
Date: Wednesday 18 April 2018
Location: Parkstad Limburg Stadion, Kerkrade
Referee: Serdar Gözübüyük
Broadcast: Fox Sports Eredivisie
Tickets: Only tickets at Roda JC stands left. Available through this link
For Eindhoven News: Joey van der Hart
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