SUNDAY 24TH AUGUST 2014
AJAX 1 – 3 PSV
It was a great match between Ajax and PSV Eindhoven in ‘De Topper’ with lots of goals and entertainment. The away side ran out 3-1 winners at the Amsterdam ArenA, proving themselves as title challengers reports Jake Jackman.
It’s always exciting when Ajax and PSV Eindhoven meet in the Eredivisie and this match was no different, especially as many are tipping PSV to be serious challengers for the title this season. Ricardo van Rhijn was back in the starting eleven after his serious injury, while Daley Blind started in midfield, despite interest from Manchester United. The visitors had Kerim Rekik back in their defence, after he was again signed on a loan deal. Memphis Depay had an early chance, but blazed over from the edge of the area. Ajax also had a good early opportunity as Davy Klaassen’s powerful header was saved well by Jeroen Zoet.
Ajax took the lead after 16 minutes after Anwar El Ghazi glanced a header over Jeroen Zoet who was closing down the youngster. The delivery from Klaassen was exceptional, but Zoet’s positioning was poor, don’t let that take away from the goal though, as it was a wonderful bit of quick thinking from El Ghazi on his first league start. The goal was perhaps against the run of play after PSV’s impressive start. The home side nearly doubled their lead, after a powerful run from Nicolai Boilesen, who played a one two with Lasse Schone, forced a good save out of Zoet with a low powerful shot inside the box.
Georginio Wijnaldum was one of the best players on the pitch in the first half, dictating play in the Ajax half when PSV had possession of the football and he forced a save from Jasper Cillessen mid way through the first 45 minutes. Calamity nearly struck for the away side as Van Rhijn’s ball was nearly sliced in by Joshua Brenet. His poor clearance could have went anyway, but luckily for Phillip Cocu’s men, it went wide.
Ajax started the second half on the front foot, with the right hand side of El Ghazi and Van Rhijn looking really good, but just minutes into the second half, the former had to be withdrawn. Ajax will be hoping that the injury isn’t too serious as the youngster has looked excellent in the opening few matches. Although the home side nearly doubled their lead through Schone, it was PSV who scored the first goal of the second half as Luciano Narsingh got past the Ajax defence utilising his pace, before he squared it to Memphis Depay, who slotted into an empty net. It was the Dutchman’s fifth Eredivisie goal of the season.
The pressure continued to build with Narsingh and Depay showing exactly why they are among the most talented attackers in the Eredivisie and it was the former who scored PSV’s second goal. Luuk de Jong picked up the ball in the Ajax half and played a perfectly weighted ball through to the winger who finished calmly past the Ajax keeper. The away side were showing exactly why many feel they will be title challengers this year.
The home side were pressing hard for an equaliser and came so close after Niklas Moisander was through one on one with Zoet, but fluffed his lines as his shot flew widely over the bar. Frank de Boer would have wished that chance had fallen to one of his forward players as it was the perfect chance to equalise.
Ajax continued to push for their second goal of the game as Schone fired just wide from a free kick, it was extremely close and PSV started to look nervy as they tried to take three points away from the Amsterdam ArenA. PSV always promised to be dangerous on the break and so it proved as they grabbed their third goal through Florian Jozefzoon who successfully got on the end of a long ball, despite pressure from Blind and Joel Veltman. The two Ajax defenders really should have done better.
Today showed again how pace exposes Ajax and other sides will have taken note of that. Especially in the second half, as Narsingh and Depay looked fantastic, while the link up play between those two, De Jong and Wijnaldum was brilliant. Ajax looked good at times, but PSV came here with a game plan and it paid off, they didn’t panic when they went behind and they showed their class in the end. The final week of the transfer window could prove pivotal for both sides as Ajax look likely to lose Blind, while PSV will look to strengthen further. This year’s title race should be intriguing, and like many said pre season, PSV will certainly be right in and amongst it.
AJAX: Cillessen, Van Rhijn (Serero 70), Veltman, Moisander, Boilesen (Ligeon 66), Klaassen, Viergever, Blind, Schöne, Sigthórsson, El Ghazi (Andersen 50).
SUBS NOT USED: Vermeer, Van der Hoorn, Kishna, Milik.
GOALS: El Ghazi 16.
PSV: Zoet, Brenet, Bruma, Rekik, Willems (Tamata 53), Wijnaldum, Hendrix, Maher (Hiljemark 70), Narsingh (Jozefzoon 80), De Jong, Depay.
SUBS NOT USED: Pasveer, Koch, Ritzmaier, Locadia.
GOALS: Depay 52, Narsingh 63, Jozefzoon 86.
BOOKINGS: Rekik 12, Depay 61.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Luciano Narsingh (PSV)
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