As expected, Ajax Amsterdam won their 32nd Eredivisie title, and third in a row today as they put five past Willem II, which condemned the Tilburg club to the Jupiler League next season.
For the third season in a row, Ajax Amsterdam are the Eredivisie champions.
Manager Frank de Boer stated to Eredivisie Live after today’s game: “We have been the most consistent. This year, we were able to finish our games in the first half of the season and then we have had a nice 5-0 championship winning game today. You should reward yourself and the public like we did today. With maybe a little luck, we feel we could have won by a bigger margin but nevertheless, we are proud of this title.”
“Were we the rightful champions? Yes, I think so. We have been the most consistent and I think we have played the best football.” he added. De Boer now joins Ronald Koeman as only men to have won at least three league titles in the Netherlands as player and a coach. In another interesting record, De Boer joins former Barcelona team-mate Pep Guardiola as a player and coach to three-peat with the same club.
An amazing 38 goals were scored on the penultimate round of fixtures of the Eredivisie season, full report tonight!
Ajax 5 (Sigthórsson 12, Eriksen 25, Fischer 68, de Jong 82, Hoesen 89)
Willem II 0
The champions went out and got the job done in style with a 5-0 demolition of Willem II Tilburg which sent the visitors back down into the Jupiler League. The party got underway after just 12 minutes when Kolbeinn Sigthórsson delivered a well-executed diving header following a great cross from Ryan Babel. The lead was extended thanks to an error from Tilburg keeper David Meul, who let a long drive from Christian Eriksen slip through his hands after 25 minutes.
After Danish 18-year-old winger Viktor Fischer had added a third, the fans in the F-Side of the Arena unveiled the flag in the picture above and started the celebrations. Within ten minutes to Siem de Jong added a fourth before substitute Danny Hoesen got in on the act minutes later.
After a third straight title, the Amsterdammers will now want to focus on competing in the UEFA Champions League, but fear they could lose players like Fischer, De Jong, Eriksen and Toby Alderweireld to foreign clubs.
“This feels great but it would be perfect if this team sticks together for another year so we can try to survive the Champions League group stage,” said left back Daley Blind, who signed a new three-year contract last month.
On the other end of the spectrum, Willem II now face at least another season in the Eerste Divisie, and will hope to hang onto young stars like Genaro Snijders, Virgil Misidjan and Niek Vossebelt to try and come back up to the top level as soon as possible.
ADO Den Haag 2 (van Duinen 10, Holla 37P)
It was a bad day all around for Ronald Koeman’s Feyenoord as they day ended with top scorer Graziano Pelle missing a last minute penalty, as well as losing defender Stefan de Vrij with a broken nose, which could have been his last game for the club.
Den Haag prodigy Mike van Duinen continued his great goal scoring form putting ADO ahead after 10 minutes of play. Feyenoord failed to get a grip on the match and after 37 minutes they found themselves 2-0 down. Danny Holla placed home a spot-kick awarded to the hosts after Daryl Janmaat fouled Tjaronn Chery in the area.
Feyenoord will play in the Europa League next year after PSV’s victory today made them out of reach in the last round of fixtures due to the Eindhoven club’s superior goal difference.
PSV 4 (Bovenberg 9OG, Toivonen 38, Lens 78, Locadia 90)
NEC 2 (van der Velden 64, Amieux 76)
PSV Eindhoven will join the UEFA Champions League qualifying campaign in the summer after clinching second place in the standings but it was not all plain sailing in their 4-2 victory over NEC Nijmegen on Sunday afternoon.
PSV gained a stroke of luck to get the day going in the right direction after Daan Bovenberg’s own goal gave the hosts a 1-0 lead after 9 minutes. A long throw was zipped in from the left and the NEC defender flicked it over goalkeeper Gabor Babos’ head, much to the Hungarian’s displeasure. It was 2-0 before half-time with a superb goal from Swedish striker Ola Toivonen which was PSV’s 100th goal of the season.
PSV’s jubilation then turned to panic in the second half, when the visitors grabbed two goals back and levelled the game. Nick van der Velden and Frenchman Remy Amieux, both notched after fumblings in the Eindhoven defence, and the Phillips Stadion spectators were not happy.
Up stepped Jermain Lens just two minutes after Amieux’s goal to regain the lead and send the crowd in raptures. A powerful driving free-kick from Mark van Bommel was plamed away by Babos and the return came in from young left-back Jetro Willems but again the goalkeeper could not hold. Lens anticipated this and pounced on the scraps to put PSV 3-2 ahead. Young substitute striker Jurgen Locadia put the final nail in NEC’s coffin five minutes into injury time after a scrappy ending to the match.
After the game head coach, Dick Advocaat confirmed that he will leave at the end of the season, his replacement is rumoured to be former club favourite Philip Cocu.
RKC Waalwijk 3 (Braber 3, Lieder 40, Duits 69P)
Vitesse Arnhem 2 (van der Heijden 47, Havenaar 68)
Vitesse crashed to a 3-2 away defeat to ten-man RKC Waalwijk which has pulled the hosts of relegation trouble. The visitors were shocked after just three minutes when they fell behind to Robert Braber goal after some terrible defending from Guram Kashia.
It did not look to be RKC’s day after 28 minutes when forward Nourdin Boukhari stupidly was shown two yellow cards for arguing with the officials. After a terrible miss from Vitesse’s Mike Havenaar just before the break, the home side found themselves two goals in-front. Mart Lieder showing Havenaar how to head a ball straight from a corner after the Arnhem striker had hit the post from five yards out moments earlier.
It looked like Fred Rutten had whipped his boys into shape at half-time as Jan-Arie van der Heijden slid home Wilfried Bony’s header to grab a goal back just two minutes into the second half. The forward line of Marco van Ginkel, Bony and Havenaar were looking bright and got on level terms on 68 minutes. Again, Bony with the assisting header onto Havenaar to finish.
Everyone watching would not have predicted what happened next, as Vitesse had the momentatum, RKC got the ball from the kick-off and attacked again. Florian Jozefzoon ran at the poor Kashia and the defender brought the attacker down to give RKC a spot kick. Sander Duits hit the penalty home and Fred Rutten substituted Kashia minutes later.
The game petered out and RKC are safe from the relegation playoffs as Vitesse will start next season playing UEFA Europa League football.
AZ Alkmaar 4 (Elm 20, Beerens 39, Johannsson 62, Maher 77)
PEC Zwolle 0
AZ warmed up for Thursday, KNVB Beker final against PSV in style with a 4-0 home win over PEC Zwolle.
Alkmaar started well and took the lead on 20 minutes, when Adam Maher whipped in a corner was headed home by Swedish midfielder Viktor Elm. It was 2-0 in the 39th minute with a Roy Beerens close range volley giving goalkeeper Diederik Boer no chance.
AZ continued to press after the break and added a third just past the hour with substitute Aron Johannsson netting and Adam Maher grabbed the final goal 77 minutes with Elm crossing to repay Maher for his earlier assist.
Despite the defeat, Zwolle will be happy with the season so far, sitting in 14th and they have survived their first year back in the Eredivisie. AZ now sit in the tenth and will hope that Heerenveen are defeated next weekend away to Roda, so they can qualify for the European playoffs. Alkmaar will need a win when they play away to relegated Willem II.
VVV Venlo 0
FC Groningen 0
A scoreless and toothless draw in Venlo as VVV enter the relegation playoffs with FC Groningen qualifying for the Europe League playoffs later this month. The Limburgers enter the relegation survival playoffs for the third season in a row as Groningen seemed to be already on their post season holidays.
Heerenveen 2 (El Ghanassy 30, 80)
FC Utrecht 4 (Toornstra 34, Mulenga 61, Wuytens 67, van der Hoorn 86)
Utrecht defeated Marco van Basten’s Heerenveen side 4-2 to leave the visitors lingering in the uncertainty of reaching the UEFA Europa League next season. A win or a draw today would have confirmed the playoff place for the home side not even two goals from Yassine El Ghanassy could lead to the win they so desperately needed.
El Ghanassy put Heerenveen ahead after half an hour but Jens Toornstra equalised just four minutes later. On-fire Icelandic striker Alfred Finnbogason smashed a header off the crossbar before the break as Heerenveen pressed for the second goal. Utrecht then had a fire lit under them on the second-half and a quick-fire double in six minutes after the hour gave them a 3-1 advantage. Jacob Mulenga and Jan Wuytens with the Utrecht goals but El Ghannasy hit a second for the hosts to give them hope of a comeback.
But with just four minutes to go, Utrecht finished the game off with defender Mike van der Hoorn’s diving header sealing the win.
Heracles 1 (Bruns 7)
FC Twente 1 (Fer 27)
Fifth-placed FC Twente came from behind to grab a point against Heracles in the ‘Derby of the East’ which spoiled the home side’s chances of European football next term.
Heracles started well and were ahead after 7 minutes gone, Thomas Bruns capitalised on poor defending from a Dragan Paljic through ball. Twente went in search of a goal, and after Luc Castaignos missing a good chance they finally did score, as creative midfielder Leroy Fer (rumoured to joining Everton in England’s Premier League) equalising on 27 minutes.
Both teams attacked looking the second goal in the second half with Everton coming the closest smashing an effort against the post and failing with the rebound. At the end of the game, the Brazilian striker was in tears as he left the pitch, as rumour has it that could be on his way in the summer after seven years at the club.
Heracles Almelo slip down to 11th with their chances of reaching the European play-offs slim, while FC Twente are overtaken in fifth by FC Utrecht.
NAC Breda 5 (Botteghin 18, ten Voorde 58, Lurling 60, 81, Hooi 75)
Roda JC 3 (Demouge 13, Bonevacia 33, Donald 49)
Roda joins VVV in the relegation playoffs after losing an eight-goal thriller away in Breda five goals to three. The visitors took a 3-1 lead with first-half goals from Frank Demouge and midfielder Roly Bonevacia (on-loan from Ajax) with former Ajax player Mitchell Donald netting a third just after half-time. NAC’s Brazilian defender Eric Botteghin scored in the 18th minute to level the scores at 1-1 but Breda were overwhelmed by Roda JC, then came the outstanding comeback orchestrated by the sensational Anthony Lurling.
Rick ten Voorde got the result back to 3-2 with a good effort just before the hour and Lurling grabbing his first of two beautiful goals minutes later with a wonderful strike. A 75th minute Elson Hooi goal put NAC in front before Lurling smashed home a spectacular long-range hit to claim all three points.
NAC Breda now are placed in mid-table obscurity with nothing to play for heading into the last week of fixtures with Roda having the worry of the relegation playoffs.
Click the name above to follow Will on Twitter.