PSV lost their first Europa League group match. They hope to wash away this pain on Sunday when they play against Vitesse. Winning in Arnhem would mean PSV stays on top of the Eredivisie league.
There were several uncertainties about PSV’s chances of winning their first Europa League group match. It was against Granada CF from the Spanish Liga. There weren’t only very late new transfers, positive corona tests, and some injuries.
It’s a challenge in itself to implement a new playing style into a group that has a different starting eleven every other match. Thay needs time, reflection and experience. But Roger Schmidt and his squad had to perform. Against a reasonably unknown opponent who performed well in the strong Spanish Liga.
Götze strikes again
PSV looked energetic in the first half, but also messy, or at least undefined. Malen missed a great chance to score the the opening goal in the 29th minute. And it was the assistant himself – Mario Götze – who brought the 1-0 on the scoreboard in the 46th minute.
This is only the German midfielder’s second match since his last, before the summer in Dortmund. Götze stayed behind in the dressing room to keep a sore muscle from turning into a serious injury. This made Roger Schmidt change players, and maybe that was the reason for the weak start of the second half.
Giving it all away
Eleven minutes into the second half, it was Jorge Molina who walked out of Jorrit Hendrix’s back and scored the equaliser. Nine minutes later midfielder, Darwin Machís, got all the space he needed. He scored the 1-2 from inside the penalty box.
After that, PSV weren’t able to recover. Malen failed to hit the net in the 71st minute, yet again. Roger Schmidt said his team play a good match. He was proud to see how they fought.
However, captain, Denzel Dumfries, was annoyed. They had let themselves get tricked by Granada’s acting, and that team influenced the referee. Hendrix didn’t want to point any fingers.
He, instead, states that both teams started the second half differently with PSV obviously doing it the wrong way. Watch the highlights of PSV – Granada CF right here.
Next match: Vitesse away
All focus is now back on the Eredivisie. PSV are playing an away game on Sunday at 14:30 (2:30 PM) at the Gelredome Stadium in Arnhem. Opponents, Vitesse, currently share the number 2 position with Ajax. Ajax have a slightly better goal difference.
Just like PSV, the Arnhemmers have a German head coach – Thomas Letsch. He worked himself up from the amateurs of VfB Oberesslingen. In 1997, Letsch became Roger Schmidt’s assistant coach.
That was at Red Bull Salzburg in 2013. Together, they became Austrian champions in 2014. In the five matches under Letsch, Vitesse won four. The only loss (2-1) was against Ajax in Amsterdam. Vitesse are one of the serious sub-top teams and include some faces familiar to the people of Eindhoven.
Vitesse currently has four former PSV players in their selection. These are goalie, Remko Pasveer, and midfielder, Riechedly Bazoer. Then there’s striker, Oussama Tannane, and winger, Roy Beerens. Apart from Pasveer, they are all exponents of the PSV Youth Academy.
Beerens played nine matches and scored one goal before he moved to NEC Nijmegen in 2007. This team is Vitesse’s arch-rival. Bazoer is hugely unpopular in Eindhoven ever since he left for Amsterdam. He felt Ajax would treat him better than his then youth coach Phillip Cocu. Cocu wanted to use him as a central defender instead of attacking midfielder.
Bazoer made his debut for Ajax in 2014. He then moved to VFL Wolfsburg in 2017, after which things went downhill for him. Vitesse seems a last chance for him to make his professional football career a success. Ironically, that appears to be in a defensive role in the line-up.
Tannane was part of the Ajax Youth Academy, where he was sent away due to bad behaviour. Via FC Utrecht, he became part of the PSV Youth Academy. He was again sent away for the same reasons.
After Tannane’s breakthrough in the Eredivisie via SC Heerenveen, he transferred to Heracles Almelo. There he performed well. His transfer to Saint-Étienne in 2015 wasn’t an unrivalled success. In 2018 he decided to return to the Netherlands.
And after one season in Utrecht, he joined Vitesse, where he’s become a stronghold this season. However, he didn’t just score five goals and give two assists in five matches. He also received three yellow cards and was sent off the pitch last weekend. All again due to behavioural issues. He’ll be suspended for Sunday’s match.
Vitesse’s Eindhoven connections
On PSV’s side, you have Armando Obispo and Marco van Ginkel. They both played for Vitesse. Obispo came back this summer after a season on loan. But Van Ginkel is a youth exponent. He earned a contract at Chelsea after 97 matches for the yellow and blacks. There, he’d scored 18 goals and have given 15 assists.
PSV striker, Eran Zahavi, and Vitesse defender, Elazar Dasa, played together at Maccabi Tel Aviv in 2015/2016. They know each other well from the Israeli national team. Ronald Koeman is a former Vitesse head coach. And Phillip Cocu played there successfully from 1990 until 1995. Davy Pröpper, Eloy Room, and Joshua Brenet are also familiar with both teams from their football careers.
Facts and figures
PSV and Vitesse have played 72 Eredivisie matches against each other. Vitesse lost 46 and won only eight times in total. PSV has had a bit more trouble winning matches away in Arnhem. There the points were shared equally, 15 times as opposed to only three times in Eindhoven.
The average score at the Gelredome is almost exactly 1-2 in PSV’s favour. And the last time the points stayed in Arnhem was on 16 February 1997, when the result was 1-0. That was before the club started using Gelredome as their home stadium. So, they’ve never beaten PSV on their new home turf.
PSV’s current goal average is +8, Vitesse’s is +7. Both teams have several strikers who score easily. On Vitesse’s side, they are strikers, Oussama Darfalou (2 + 1 assist), Ikoma Lois Openda (1 + 1), and Armando Broja (3). He’s on loan from Chelsea.
Midfielder, Matús Bero, gave two assists. That equals PSV’s left-back, Philipp Max. But he won’t be able to play this match because of an injury. For PSV, only one thing counts – to wash away the pain and stay on top of the Eredivisie.
Listen to what Vitesse player, Eli Dasa, and head coach, Thomas Letsch, have to say about the match in this preview.
Match: Vitesse – PSV
Location: Gelredome Stadion, Arnhem
Start: 14:30 (2:30 PM)
Referee: Bas Nijhuis
VAR: Danny Makkelie
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Article by Joey van der Hart for Eindhoven News