Welcome to Total Dutch Football’s Team of the Week which leads into our 2020/21 Eredivisie Player of the Season Tournament.
Each player that is selected for the Team of the Week receives a point and the Player of the Week receives two more points. We count these up over the season and then award the player with the most points as the Player of the Season.
Read on to see who has been awarded the points for this week.
GOALKEEPER: Yven Mvogo (PSV)
After a few shaky weeks, the Swiss stopper showed the Eindhoven faithful what he is made of – keeping a clean sheet pulling off five quality saves at home to Fortuna Sittard.
DEFENDER: Glenn Bijl (FC Emmen)
The full-back won eight of nine challenges with four interceptions and a pair of clearances. Played his part in his side’s equalising goal against highflying FC Twente.
DEFENDER: Ko Itakura (FC Groningen)
The Japanese defender did not give the Ajax attack a kick winning 100% of challenges and six clearances.
DEFENDER: Riechedly Bazoer (Vitesse)
Bazoer is excelling in his new central defensive role nailing 90 out of 96 passes in the win over Heracles. This included an accurate 18 out of 19 long balls, one which helped his sides notch a goal.
DEFENDER: Ridgeciano Haps (Feyenoord)
The 27-year-old left-back scored a goal in Feye’s 4-1 win away to Willem II and was an attacking threat throughout performing with three out of three successful dribbles.
MIDFIELDER: Oussama Tannane (Vitesse)
The Heracles man punished his old side with the winning goal in the 3-0 win and was a menace throughout linking up well with Oussama Darfalou and Luis Openda.
MIDFIELDER: Joao Teixeira (Feyenoord)
Dick Advocaat’s Portuguese import has settled in no problem in Rotterdam grabbing two assists in the weekend’s win over Willem II.
MIDFIELDER: Jesper Karlsson (AZ Alkmaar)
The Swedish debutant made his mark notching two assists before his side’s 4-0 collapse to draw at Sparta Rotterdam. He’s certainly going to one to watch.
FORWARD: Oussama Darlafou (Vitesse)
One goal and one assist for the Algerian which looks to have a new lease of life under Thomas Letsch and linking up well with Oussama Tannane and Luis Openda.
FORWARD: Zakaria Aboukhlal (AZ Alkmaar)
The 20-year-old winger grabbed his first senior goals in the unreal 4-4 draw away to Sparta. Notching twice set his team up to a coasting win before the horrendous collapse – the youngster hardly put a foot wrong.
FORWARD: Steven Berghuis (Feyenoord)
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Another two goals to the tally for the former Watford man. Three out of three for dribbles. Landed 55 out of 66 passing attempts and even managed to win five tackles. Steven grabs his first player of the week award of the new season – probably won’t be his last.
Yet another exciting weekend has been and gone in the Eredivisie and Will Burns is here describing all the action.
Ajax fall to shock defeat in Groningen
Amazingly AZ loses a 4-0 lead away to Sparta Rotterdam
Feyenoord fire four past Willem II to top the table
RKC and PEC Zwolle game on Saturday suffers COVID-19 postponement
FC Utrecht and sc Heerenveen played out a 1-1 draw on Friday night with Johnny Jansen’s men taking the lead after just four minutes. Big Henk Veerman got of a Rodney Kongolo through ball and powered a finish home past Maarten Paes in the home goal.
However, it was tied up just before half-time after Leeds United target Gyrano Kerk hit a low drive from the edge of the box which was powerful enough to beat Heerenveen keeper Erwin Mulder. Despite, both sides having efforts in the second half, the game finished all square which sent Jansen’s side top of the Eredivisie table on 10 points from the four rounds of games.
On Saturday, RKC were due to host PEC Zwolle but unfortunately the game was the first in the 2020/21 Eredivisie season to be postponed due to COVID-19 issues. Four RKC players and two staff members tested positive for the virus on Friday and eight players were forced to quarantine. The Waalwijk side confirmed that the decision to cancel the match was made following conversations between the KNVB’s doctor, the RKC club doctor and the Dutch public health service.
Vitesse racked up their third win in four games under Thomas Letsch at home to Heracles with an comfortable 3-0 victory. The German was pleased to see his side go in for the halftime break two goals to the good thanks to Luis Openda and Oussama Darfalou.
The Belgian Openda took advantage of a tight offside ruling to slot home a slick pass from Matus Bero on 34 minutes and the lead was doubled three minutes later. Oussama Tannane, Openda and Darfalour linked up well for the latter to tap home from close range.
The game was wrapped up just after the hour mark through Tannane against his old club. The goal was created from a fantastic long ball from Riechedly Bazoer, sitting in his new position at centre-back. Bazoer’s ball was nodded on by Darfalou into Tannane’s path for the midfielder to drive it home. A great win for Vitesse, however Frank Wormuth’s Heracles have now suffered two heavy defeats away from home, after experiencing a 4-0 defeat in Tilburg to Willem II on week two.
ADO Den Haag clinched their first victory of the campaign away to VVV-Venlo with a late winner in game which featured a crazy first five minutes. VAR awarded a handball decision on VVV’s Roy Gelmi which was unfortunate for the defender under this new ruling. Gelmi’s hand was coming down after jumping for a header and it collided with the ball for a spot-kick.
Shaquille Pinas sent the keeper the wrong way but the visitors would not be celebrating for long as Greek striker Giorgos Giakoumakis levelled the score up two minutes later. This was his fourth goal of the season and his first since scoring a hat-trick on his side’s opening fixture.
However it would be the side from Den Haag that would grab the win with debutant David Philipp grabbing a 93rd minute goal to make it 2-1. Philipp, a loanee signing from Werder Bremen, was a 80 minute substitute and made an immediate impact finishing a flick on from Vicente Besuijen.
Ron Jans’ FC Twente had to settle for a point at home to FC Emmen but it started well with Vaclav Cerny finding himself on the scoresheet again. The Czech forward scored for the third game in a row on 48 minutes with a dubious goal. Ramiz Zerrouki robbed Emmen’s Simon Tibbling on the edge of his own half which looked like it could have been deemed a push. However, play continued and Cerny finished to make it 1-0.
On 65 minutes, Michael de Leeuw grabbed an equaliser which would prove to be the last goal of the game. Twente goalkeeper Joel Drommel parried a Glenn Bijl effort into De Leeuw’s path for a simple tap home. This result has Twente in sixth with Emmen in 15th place with just two points from four games so far.
On Sunday lunchtime, Ajax suffered their defeat away to FC Groningen in an empty Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadion. The Amsterdammers were sporting their new horrendous away shirt (sorry I don’t like it). The shirt features pale grey and white diamonds and looks a mess, it resembles the USA national team away shirt in 1994 or the Manchester United shirt in 1997 which Alex Ferguson blamed for being humped 7-3 off Southampton.
The shirt certainly did not do Erik ten Hag’s team any favours in a drab forgettable game. After a poor first half, the hosts took the lead on 49 minutes through Remco Balk. Ajax keeper Andre Onana parried a shot from Jorgen Strand Larsen into Balk’s path to slot home.
The goal work Ajax up and they pressed for an equaliser but poor finishing and a lack of creativity meant only two of their 18 shots landed on target and on 74 minutes it could have been worse for the Amsterdammers had Ramon-Pascal Lundqvist not hit the outside of the post with his effort on the edge of the area.
The woodwork helped Groningen out shortly before full-time as Klass-Jan Huntelaar and Dusan Tadic smashed the crossbar consecutively in the area when it looked easier to score. Even with eight minutes of added time, Ajax failed to score a goal and Groningen celebrated a great win. Ajax boosted their attacking options by bringing Davy Klaassen home from Werder Bremen on Monday.
Feyenoord fared better away to Willem II smashing four past the Tilburgers on Saturday even though Adrie Koster’s men took the lead on 13 minutes. Who else but Vangelis Pavlidis who got the goal, unmarked the Greek striker sidefooted home an Sebastien Holmen corner.
Dick Advocaat’s men responded well and were level through Ridgeciano Haps on 22 minutes after new signing Joao Teixeira held up the ball well in the area before playing Haps in to finish. Just after the half-time oranges, Bryan Linssen scored his first goal for the club to make it 2-1 after Willem II’s defenders failed to clear the ball, the former Vitesse winger was on hand to push the ball past Robbin Ruiter.
Steven Berghuis scored his fourth and fifth of the season to round out the win on 56 and 77 minutes. That man Teixeria was involved again, playing in the arriving Berghuis on the edge of the box, to simply stroke home or he made it look simple anyways.
The final goal saw Berghuis display a phenomenal piece of skill. Goalkeeper Ruiter was caught out on the right side of his penalty area and Berghuis pinched the ball and lofted it perfectly into the goal over the rushing Willem II defence. Strong start for Advocaat’s Feyenoord who sit joint top with PSV and Heerenveen.
PSV climbed to the top with a routine 2-0 win over Fortuna Sittard which saw the highly-rated Mohamed Ihattaren relegated to the subs bench by coach Roger Schmidt. It has been widely discussed that the young midfielder is out of favour with Schmidt and that certainly seemed the case on Sunday afternoon, however the German coach claimed that Ihattaren had suffered a knock earlier in the week. Additionally, the 18-year-old did pull out of the Dutch national squad this weekend.
However, Schmidt’s men were in front early on through a Donyell Malen strike. Linking up well with new Israeli target man Eran Zahavi, Malen ran onto a ball from his colleague that split the Sittard defence and slotted home with ease.
The Eindhoven side had to wait for a second goal and the impressive Noni Madueke grabbed his second of the season five minutes from time. The Englishman replaced Zahavi on the hour mark and used his speed and power to finish off a bursting counter attack.
Finally, AZ Alkmaar arrived in Rotterdam in poor form with just two draws from their two games, at home to PEC Zwolle and away at Fortuna Sittard. Arne Slot’s men must have thought their lucky was changing when they took an early lead against Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday.
New signing Jesper Karlsson from Swedish Allsvenskan side Elfsborg, made an immediate impact with two assists in the first 15 minutes. The Swede whipped in a great ball to the back post for Zakaria Aboukhlal to catch out Sparta stopper Benjamin van Leer at this near post to head home after just nine minutes of play. The second came five minutes after with Karlsson linking up with Dani de Wit in the area to make it 2-0.
Slot must have been on cloud nine after it was 3-0 on 19 minutes, again with Aboukhlal scoring. Sparta pair Jeffrey Fortes and Bart Vriends got caught out passing in their own half with the young winger nicking the ball and finishing. The game looked done and dusted on 33 minutes when De Wit scored his second of the game to put AZ four goals ahead heading home a Fredrik Midtsjo long range free-kick.
However, it all then went wrong for the Alkmaar side when captain Teun Koopmeiners smashed a spot-kick off the crossbar before half-time. After Mica Pinto was punished for a handball by referee Danny Makkelie, the AZ talisman uncharacteristically placed his shot too high which missed the chance to make it 5-0. Then came the second half onslaught from Henk Fraser’s Sparta…
AZ goalkeeper Marco Bizot was penalised for an horrific error picking up his own goal-kick after he failed to meet Koopmeiners with his pass. Abdou Harroui blasted home the indirect free-kick on the edge of six yard box for a consolation goal… right? Wrong.
It was 4-2 after 64 minutes and full-back Dirk Abels wrong footed Bizot in goal with a long range effort but surely AZ was not going to let their four goal lead slip any further…?
Entering the last five minutes of the game, Marco Bizot saw his second yellow for a foul on Sparta’s Aaron Meijers and Makkelie awarded the Rotterdammers a spot-kick. Substitute keeper Hobie Verhulst had no chance with Lennart Thy’s conversion in the top right corner of the net. It was 4-3.
Disaster struck for AZ just a minute later when failed to clear their lines and Sven Mijnans hit a powerful low drive into the Verhulst’s left corner to dramatically clinch an unlikely point. A 4-4 all draw and once again Arne Slot must be thinking what is next as we all think how did this team push Ajax to the limit last year?
Major trouble in Alkmaar who head into the international break knowing that a win on the 17th October against VVV-Venlo is a must.
The third round of fixtures in the Eredivisie is in the books and Will Burns is on hand to report on all the action.
AZ’s woes continue as Fortuna-te Sittard grab late point
Despite being a man down, Antony and Mohammed Kudus excel once again for Ajax
PSV held to a 1-1 draw away to Heracles as Feyenoord smash four past ADO
FC Twente easily defeated FC Groningen by 3-1 on Friday evening thanks to goals from Vaclav Cerny, Danilo and substitute Alexander Jeremejeff.
Former Ajax forward Cerny opened the scoring on 22 minutes despite already having a goal ruled out for offside on 13 minutes with VAR’s assistance. It took the VAR officials numerous minutes to make a decision and all of the angles of the cameras looked as though Cerny was indeed onside.
Danilo added a second before half-time through yet another Eredivisie goalkeeping error from Sergio Padt. The ability for goalkeeper to pass the ball has been stressed by many managers in the Dutch top flight, however Sergio Padt added more evidence that this tactic should be avoided after he played the ball straight into the Brazilian’s feet to slot home from long range.
Swedish striker Jeremejeff, a summer signing from German side Dynamo Dresden, slotted home a third to wrap up the victory that leaves Twente undefeated after three games and Groningen sitting with just three points from three outings.
Sparta Rotterdam‘s woes continued with a 4-0 humping away to PEC Zwolle on Saturday afternoon. Henk Fraser’s men are yet to even score a goal in the Eredivisie this season and sit afoot of the standings.
It was quite the even game at MAC³PARK stadium until Mica Pinto was dismissed by referee Allard Lindhout after the Portuguese defender handballed on the line. Reza Ghoochannejhad converted the spot kick in first-half stoppage time.
The Iranian made it 2-0 soon after the restart before Clint Leemans made it 3-0 on 54 minutes. Japanese centre-back Yuta Nakayama completed the rout heading home from a corner to make it four on 71 minutes. Sparta head back to Rotterdam with their third defeat in as many games.
I talked in the season preview about how AZ Alkmaar had now joined Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord as the Eredivisie’s “Big Four” now but at this early stage in the season, I couldn’t have been more wrong.
This past Saturday, they drew 3-3 away to Fortuna Sittard and looked a shadow of their former selves that pushed Ajax to the limit last season. The pressure on Arne Slot and the team was mounting up as they conceded within 10 minutes through a long range strike from Zian Flemming. The 22-year-old ghosted through the midfield and the AZ defenders failed to close him down as he planted a perfect shot past Marco Bizot.
Dani de Wit equalised on 23 minutes and AZ pressed for another goal before the break but with winger Zakaria Aboukhlal going close and the usually prolific Myron Boadu missed a sitter and the sides went into half-time all square.
On 52 minutes, AZ took the lead as Teun Koopmeiners took advantage of a Aleksei Coselev mistake before a Branislav Ninaj error looked to give AZ the points. He dwelled on the ball in his own half and ended up getting robbed by De Wit, who carried the ball towards goal. As Coselev closed the ball down, De Wit played to Boadu who tapped home on 70 minutes. Which all but cement the win for Slot’s men… right?
No, Fortuna failed to give up and Emil Hansson grabbed a goal for the hosts ten minutes before the end before dramatically Flemming caught Bizot out at his near post five minutes into stoppage which sent the 3,000 fans in attendance into raptures. AZ return home with just a point and Slot and his staff must be wondering – where did it all go wrong?
Joey Veerman continued his fine form as he converted a penalty to score the only goal of the game in sc Heerenveen‘s win over VVV-Venlo, however Joey’s game was not all rosy.
The midfielder suffered two fouls that earned VVV players red cards and the second forced him to leave the field with a knock. Tobias Pachniok (63) and Simon Janssen (79) were given straight reds as the visitors ended the match with only nine men.
Ajax had a scare at the Johan Cruijyff Arena against Vitesse and also experienced a dismissal as Pol van Boekel gave Edson Alvarez his marching orders near the end of the first half for two consecutive fouls on Maximillian Wittek and Luis Openda. The latter foul included a stamp from Alvarez which was picked up by VAR and the red card was issued.
The visitors started the game well going close through Belgian striker Openda after three minutes but it was Ajax who found themselves in the lead after 21 minutes of play. Quincy Promes finished a swift Amsterdammers’ counter attack but Vitesse continued to play some good football and levelled up after the sending off.
Riechedly Bazoer came back to haunt his former employees on 56 minutes smashing a ball into the roof of the net from just inside the box. As the home crowd whistled, Bazoer celebrated emphatically.
Although celebrations were cut short as Ajax put a smile back on the crowd’s faces with a goal from Brazilian Antony, which capped off a phenomenal performance from the summer signing from Sao Paulo. Another signee Mohammed Kudus carried the ball powerfully up the field and played Antony in on the left side and the winger smashed home a finish first time to take the lead.
The combination of Kudus and Antony are incredibly impressive and one wonders if anyone will actually remember the losses of Hakim Ziyech and Donny van der Beek come the end of the season. These two boys are some talents, not only are they replacements for the players that have moved on, they could prove to be improvements within the next nine months.
On Sunday, Feyenoord and ADO Den Haag clashed in the early kick-off with the Rotterdammers coming out on top by four goals to two. The visitors took the lead as Jonas Arweiler took advantage of a Lutsharel Geertruida error to smash a post past Justin Bijlow from close range. The young full-back swiped at a ball looped into the area and missed it completely and it fell lovely for the German to hit home.
The score was level at half-time as Geertruida turned zero to hero and scored his first senior goal on 27 minutes heading home a Steven Berghuis corner. In the second half, Argentine defender Marcos Senesi got the hosts ahead with a piece of sublime finishing. A corner was in danger of being cleared before the ball perfectly landed to the Argentine to scissor kick over Luuk Koopmans in the ADO goal.
The De Kuip raptures were silenced on 66 minutes when Bijlow brought down Arweiler in the area but the German hit a poor penalty that was easy for Bijlow to save. However, VAR reaction was that the keeper came off his line too early and Shaquille Pinas stepped up for the retake to make it 2-2.
Two minutes later, Luciano Narsingh made it 3-2 and a Steven Berghuis penalty kick cemented the 4-2 win at De Kuip. The win has Dick Advocaat’s side in third on seven points behind Ajax and Heerenveen.
PSV stumbled to a 1-1 draw away to Heracles in a disappointing performance from Roger Schmidt’s side. Just over 3,000 spectators were socially distancing in the Erve Asito and gave PSV’s “dodgy keeper” Yvon Mvogo some stick every time he got a touch of the ball after his past fortnight of errors.
The hosts were awarded a penalty after a “hand-ball” from Nick Viergever, in which a ball hit him on the shoulder. VAR reviewed it and gave it and former PSV youth player Rai Vloet scored against his old club. Schmidt made the brave decision of a triple substitute at half-time and PSV were awarded of a penalty of their own on 50 minutes.
Sub Noni Madueke was tripped by Teun Bijleveld and German left-back Philipp Max hammered it low in the left corner to tie the game. Despite, the Eindhoven side’s efforts for a winner it was Frank Wormuth’s Heracles that kept the Mvogo busy.
The semi-forgiven Sylvester van der Water, who tried to push a move to the MLS and Orlando City last week… yes you read that right, got a run out and nearly found a way through to grab a winner. Don’t worry Sylvester, Disneyland is closed at the moment.
FC Emmen and Willem II also played out a 1-1 draw with the hosts taking the lead through Michael de Leeuw after just five minutes of play. Vangelis Pavlidis unselfishly played in Tresor to level the game in the 13th minute and that’s where the scoring concluded although Emmen finished the game with ten men after Glenn Bijl picked up two yellow cards.
RKC are still looking for their first points of the season after FC Utrecht defeated Fred Grim’s men by 3-1. Utrecht looked a class above their counterparts throughout but took 40 minutes to break the deadlock, Mimoun Mahi tapping home Django Warmerdam’s low cross from the left wing.
However, RKC grabbed an leveller just before the hour mark with Romanian striker Vitalie Damascan, loaned in from Serie A side Torino, silencing the Utrecht fans with a strong finish from a rapid counter attack.
After many attempts to grab the lead again, Utrecht’s Gyrano Kerk got his side back in the lead on 74 minutes before a Sander van der Streek header finished RKC off with a third five minutes from time. RKC joined ADO and Sparta at the foot of the table with no points from three games.
Well the second week of the Eredivisie had it’s moments and Will Burns is back to review the weekend’s happenings.
Despite another Yvon Mvogo mishap, PSV overcome Emmen
Willem II continue their goal scoring exploits versus Heracles
Ajax stroll past the challenge of RKC Waalwijk
The action started with the first Friday night game of the season with VVV-Venlo, hot off their eight goals thriller against FC Emmen last weekend hosting FC Utrecht who were appearing in their opening game of the season.
Utrecht were due to play AZ Alkmaar in the opening round of fixtures last weekend, but the KNVB postponed the game to help AZ prepare for the Champions League qualifier against Dynamo Kyiv, which looked to do AZ anything but a favour.
Venlo took the lead after just eight minutes with Guus Hupperts opening his account for his new side, tapping home from close range after last week’s three goals hero Georgios Giakoumakis whipped a ball into the Utrecht box.
The game finished 1-1 however after Sean Klaiber leveled for the visitors in the 58th minute after some good line-up play between Klaiber, Minoum Mahi and Gyrano Kerk. Despite either side trying to breach each other’s goal the game ended all square.
PSV escaped with a 2-1 win at the Philips Stadion against FC Emmen on Saturday evening. On 21 minutes, things were going well for PSV as youngster Noni Madueke tapped home in the six yard box, getting on the end of a Philipp Max cross.
Usually, the heavens would open in Eindhoven and the goals would flow, however, this what not the case. Emmen pressed and forced Swiss goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo into some decent stops but the new stopper would be at fault for the second week in a row.
Mvogo, with the help of his defence, were caught out last week and conceded a poor goal to Groningen after an exchange of passes in their own area. A big defensive no-no. This week, the keeper found himself purely to blame. He was brought in by the club as a sweeper keeper and his passing and ball control was lauded by the staff at the club. Although, a simple backpass from Max caught Mvogo out and in pure Peter Enckelman style, the ball sailed into the goal with just seven minutes to go.
However, PSV’s blushes (and the keeper’s) were spared as Argentine substitute Maxi Romero headed home four minutes into injury time to take all three points. After the ball hit the net, the TV cameras focused on Mvogo to show his relieved face. The keeper definitely owes the young Argentine a post-match pint of Bavaria at the club house.
Arne Slot’s AZ Alkmaar continued what was a bad week for the week with a 1-1 draw at home to PEC Zwolle. AZ crashed out of the Champions League last Tuesday away to Dynamo Kyiv in a lacklustre display by the Alkmaar side.
On Saturday, the week got worse as Calvin Stengs was dismissed by referee Serdar Gözübüyük on just 17th minutes for a high tackle from behind on Kenneth Paal. Although the incident took place three minutes later, VAR gave the ref the advice to send the winger off.
By half-time, Slot had a further headache as his side found themselves a goal down with Clint Leemans put Zwolle ahead on 38 minutes with a looping shot from the outside of the box that chipped Marco Bizot in goal.
Myron Boadu got the ten-men level in the second half finishing off a parry from Michael Zetterer from a Tijani Reijnders shot. Boadu failed to hit it cleanly which stranded the goalkeeper. Zwolle found themselves a man down near to full-time with Thomas Lam being given his marching orders.
The Finnish defender was involved in a scuffle with AZ striker Ferdy Druijf which saw the young striker lose his “man card” after a horrendous piece of over-acting relating to a meek kick he received from Lam. Shame on you Ferdy Druijf!
Vitesse got their season in the Gelredome underway with a 2-0 win against Henk Fraser’s Sparta Rotterdam. They took the lead from a wonderful long-range free-kick from Oussama Tannane that got the 4,914 attendance to their feet.
Before half-time Sparta had a mountain to climb as Belgian defender Michael Heylen was dismissed for his second yellow card. on 42 minutes. On-loan striker Armando Broja (borrowed from Chelsea) cemented the win eight minutes from time, tapping in a rebound from close range.
sc Heerenveen continued their winning ways, making it two victories from two with a 3-1 away win against Fortuna Sittard with the Friesland side scoring three goals in 19 minutes in the first half.
Oliver Batista Maier open the scoring on 15 minutes after a Henk Veerman layoff in the area. It was 2-0 after Maier was brought down by Roel Janssen and Joey Veerman converted. The third came from big Henk who showed a great bit of skill to convert from a Arjen van den Heide pass.
The young winger played the ball into the big man and Henk controlled, backheeled himself into space to smash the ball into the roof of the net. Sittard defender Branislav Ninaj was turned inside out. Johnny Jansen’s men could have extended their lead but it was Sittard that got a goal back through former QPR striker Sebastian Polter.
FC Groningen got their season back on track with a 1-0 away win against ADO Den Haag on Sunday morning. Despite the absence of Arjen Robben, who was injured last weekend, an own goal from Shaquille Pinas on 23 minutes was enough to send the Green and White Army home the victors.
Dick Advocaat’s Feyenoord were held to a 1-1 draw against FC Twente in De Kuip. Former Ajax forward Vaclav Cerny shocked the Rotterdammers scoring after a Queensy Menig stole the ball from Marc Diemers inside the area. The ball fell to Danilo and the Brazilian flicked onto Cerny after just 99 seconds.
The game was 1-1 before half-time through Steven Berghuis penalty, which was his second of the game. Young left-back Jayden Oosterwolde showed his immaturity by pulling down Lutsharel Geertruida in the area. Berghuis stepped up and saw the spot-kick saved by Joel Drommel. While sprinting to hammer home the rebound, Julio Pleguezuelo slid in and fouled Berghis for another penalty to be awarded. The strange collection of events ended with Berghuis notching the second penalty.
Feyenoord pressed for a winner but to no avail as Ron Jans’s side left Rotterdam with a point and Advocaat’s men join AZ off the pace from Ajax and PSV at this early stage. Early days indeed, but pressure is on for both teams not to slip up in any games in the near future.
Heracles suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat away to Willem II. The Almelo side were rocked on Saturday evening by Silvester van der Water texting head coach Frank Wormuth that he would not be available for the match. The reason: his displeasure with clashes between his agent and the club not being able to agree a deal that would allow to winger to join MLS side Orlando City. A million dollar football talent, with a ten cent brain. Good luck with that attitude kid!
With the preparation potentially for the game out of the window for Wormuth, it certainly looked to be the case as Willem II, who scored five midweek against Europa League opponents Progres Niederkorn, scored four second-half goals.
Greek striker, as standard, was amongst the goals notching twice on 46 and 84 minutes with Gorkem Saglam and debutant John Yeboah, signing from Wolfsburg last week, getting the other goals.
Finally, Ajax dispatched RKC Waalwijk with ease in the last game of the weekend with a 3-0 victory. The 9,800 attendance did not have to wait for the first goal in the Johan Cruijff Arena as Dusan Tadic (who else?) notched after just ten minutes of play.
A Qunicy Promes shot was blocked by the RKC defence but fell perfectly for the Serbian to flick the ball home. After a Zakaria Labyad goal was chalked off by VAR on three minutes later, the midfielder did get his goal in the 34th minute to send Ajax in at half-time two goals to the good.
New signing Mohammed Kudus slotted the ball over to Noussair Mazraoui on the right wing who crossed for Labyad for the 2-0. In the second half, Luuk Wouters harshly saw red for RKC after a VAR decision that he felled Labyad while he was through on goal. Although the midfielder was actually sandwiched between two men before crumbling to the ground, Wouters took the fall.
Soon after, Erik ten Hag’s side finished the scoring through a Lisandro Martinez header from a Tadic cross. That’s two wins from two for the Amsterdammers and two defeats in a row for Fred Grim’s RKC Waalwijk.
After being let down last week by Willem II (not scoring against Heerenveen, but managed to bang five in mid-week! Grrrr!), Will Burns has picked himself up, dusted off and selected a ‘Double Dutch’ bet for this weekend’s games.
VITESSE vs. SPARTA ROTTERDAM
Gelredome | Saturday 19th September | 17:45 GMT
Vitesse got off to great start last weeknd with an opening day 1-0 win away to relegation favourites RKC Waalwijk. Their opening home game see Henk Fraser’s Sparta Rotterdam roll into Arnhem and the head coach has a good record against Vitesse, a team he managed in 2016 for two years.
In the past six head-to-head clashes with the Vitas, he racked up two wins and three draws, losing just once, however it is goals is where we are looking for part one of the Double Dutch, because of course my motto is… HISTORY MEANS NOTHING!
On week one, Sparta hosted Ajax and alhough they were defeated 1-0 (and the Amsterdammers were down to ten men in the first half), it was a valiant performance that could have seen the oldest club in the Netherlands.
Sparta forced 14 shots at Andre Onana in the Ajax goal, although only three landed on target, but this included eight shots inside the area. They managed to create the chances and I see them creating many against Vitesse on Saturday night.
Vitesse on the other hand managed to get six of their 17 shots on target and hit the back of the net with one. At home, at the Gelredome, despite minimal fans or not… they should see plenty chances too.
I predict a shootout!
We don’t have much of a dataset to go off but I think this is a good play. Vitesse conceded a goal in all but one of their pre-season games, while scoring in each one, and they played seven of them. As for Sparta, Henk Fraser’s men scored and conceeded in four of their last four warm-up games.
I can see both notching here.
Both Teams to Score (1.61 at bet365)
PSV vs. FC EMMEN
Phillips Stadion | Saturday 19th September | 19:00 GMT
I really like this game for goals on Saturday evening as PSV Eindhoven, under Roger Schmidt face FC Emmen in their opening home game in Eindhoven.
FC Emmen were a proper Jeckyl and Hyde last weekend, going 2-0 up at home to VVV-Venlo then forgot how to defend conceding five losing 5-3 by the full-time whistle was blown.
Anyone thinking FC Emmen can contain Donyell Malen, Cody Gakpo (read more about him here) and youngster Noni Madueke, who is set to start now that Sam Lammers has secured his move to Serie A side Atalanta, are mad. I can see PSV dominating in this encounter, winning by a few goals.
Emmen conceded five last weekend at home to VVV-Venlo. PSV are back at the Philips Stadion in Roger Schmidt’s first competitive game, I see the lads from Eindhoven smashing the underdogs for a few goals but let’s play safe and take -1 on the handicap.
If PSV win by two clear goals, we win.
PSV -1.5 (1.55 at Bet365)
Week two of Double Dutch. Let’s see if the two picks below romp in this weekend. it is best priced at bet365, good luck if you’re betting and most of all, enjoy the games.
Vitesse-Sparta Both Teams to Score and PSV -1 vs. FC Emmen (2.50 at Bet365)
Welcome to a new feature, the Eredivisie Bet Of The Week. Will Burns selects his best bet for the weekend’s action and we take our first venture into the goalscorer markets.
PSV vs. FC EMMEN
Phillips Stadion | Saturday 19th September | 19:00 GMT
So PSV pulled off a great result away to FC Groningen last weekend and will be looking to do a carbon copy to last campaign where they went nine games without defeat in the league, winning seven.
This weekend they face a home opener against FC Emmen and last weekend they conceded five goals at home to VVV-Venlo so I can see PSV breaching the Emmen with ease on Saturday evening (7pm BST kick-off)
One man that has impressed me since he was a youngster in the U19’s and Jong PSV is Cody Gakpo and what a start to the season he has made. The winger scored a double in last week’s 3-1 win and in pre-season scored four in five warm-up games against FC Uerdingen, Vitesse, Eintracht Frankfurt and Hertha Berlin.
I looked at the goalscorer markets and Bet365 have him priced up at a high 2.60 to score anytime. Get on that for our Eredivisie Bet of the Week.
BET OF THE WEEK: Cody Gakpo to score anytime (2.60 at bet365)
Keep your eyes open for our Double Dutch bet for Sunday’s games.
Cody Gakpo double makes Robben return an unhappy one
The opening week of the new season got underway at the Abe Lenstra Stadion as Heerenveen dispatched Willem II 2-0 on Saturday afternoon. The scoring was opened on 22 minutes by left-back Lucas Woudenberg after a great counter attack move by the hosts. After the man of the match, Joey Veerman played a delicate ball through the left-back on the edge of their other box, Woudenberg stormed up the field until he played a one-two with the ball to young winger Arjen van der Heide. Upon receiving the ball back, Woudenberg continued into the area to slot it past new Tilburg goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter.
The visitors pressed high in the second half thought they had equalized by danger man Vangelis Pavlidis smashed a ball home but he was deemed offside. However, both sides had chances to build on the score but it was Heerenveen that shut the door on their opponents by notching the second decisive goal. Within 15 minutes of time remaining, that man again, Joey Veerman whipped in a free-kick to be headed home by debutant Pawel Bochniewicz. The Polish centre-back was signed earlier this week from Gornik Zabrze for around €1.4m. A great opening day win for Johnny Jansen’s men that brought smiles on the faces of those that were lucky to attend, with only minimal crowds allowed into the grounds due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Feyenoord began their campaign with a relatively easy win away to John Stegeman’s PEC Zwolle. Continuing his great goalscoring from last season, Steven Berghuis notched twice in a 2-0 win for the Rotterdammers. It didn’t take long to open the scoring with Berghuis hitting a low drive from outside the box past Zwolle stopper Michael Zetterer after just 5 minutes of play. The win was cemented with Berghuis penalty kick on 68 minutes after Orkan Kocku was fouled in the area by Thomas Lam.
The remaining game on Saturday was another 2-0 score line with Ron Jans’ FC Twente defeating Fortuna Sittard. As mentioned in our season preview, it was yet another summer of all change in Enschede as Twente hired a whole new staff and technical director with many changes on the pitch too. Meanwhile, the team seemed to gel and took the lead after ten minutes through former Ajax youth Queensy Menig. It was some good work on the left for Menig who played a quick pass exchange with impressive young left-back Jayden Oosterwolde and then cut inside to fire home for the lead.
Soon after the half-time break, Brazilian signing Danilo, a summer loan signing from Ajax, made it 2-0 converting a penalty after Branislav Nihaj dragged Jesse Bosch down in the box. Twente looked more likely to add to their score than any chance of a Sittard comeback. A great start for Jans in his new role with his youthful squad with an average age of 23.6 years, third youngest only to Heerenveen (22.5) and Groningen (23.3).
Sunday opened up with a wild game in Emmen as VVV-Venlo came back from two goals down to end up winning 5-3 against FC Emmen. The hosts took the lead early on with a fourth minute strike from Robbert de Vos before Croatian striker Marko Kolar added a second after the break to extend the lead to 2-0.
However, Greek striker Georgios Giakoumakis, a free agent signing in the summer from AEK Athens, notched a 22-minute hat-trick to take the game to 3-2. Nicolas Laursen levelled the game in the 76th minute before an own goal from debutant Caner Cavlan gave VVV the 4-3 lead. Emmen searched for an injury time equalizer but Jafar Arias put the nail in the coffin for Emmen making it 5-3 four minutes into stoppage time.
Frank Wormuth’s Heracles defeated the new-look ADO Den Haag side 2-0 on Sunday afternoon. ADO is now managed by former midfielder Aleksandr Rankovic but the beginning to his new career did not go to plan when former PSV youth Rai Vloet gave Wormuth’s men the lead just after the break. The very impressive Sylvester van de Water finished the scoring adding a second on 70 minutes. The 23-year-old carried the ball through the midfield before dishing the ball to Luca de la Torre on the left of the area, before getting on the end of the return ball to poke the ball past Luuk Koopmans in goal. To make matters worse for Rankovic, he saw defender Boy Kemper (on loan from Ajax) sent off soon after.
Ajax got their title challenge underway with a narrow 1-0 win away to Sparta Rotterdam with some great difficulty. Erik ten Hag’s side played the majority of the match with just ten men after Nicolas Tagliafico was dismissed by referee Jochem Kamphuis, however it looked a harsh decision as the Argentine was deemed to purposely handball an attempt to put through Mohamed Rayhi on goal.
Despite the setback, debutant Antony who was lively throughout, scored from a bouncing drive outside the area just before half-time. It was a goal that Sparta stopper Benjamin van Leer, playing against his old club, should be possibly stopped.
Henk Fraser’s men pressed the Amsterdammers but it was to no avail, Ajax grabbed their first win however, it was too close for comfort.
Arjen Robben did not experience a good return to FC Groningen as suffered an injury before the half-hour mark in his side’s 3-1 defeat to PSV. Over 6,000 disappointed fans attended as the 36-year-old winger, who retired last July after a hugely successful career, returned to where it all began.
Soon after Robben’s substitution, Cody Gakpo showed great power to shrug off the challenge of Azor Matusiwa and finishing prowess to grab his first of the day to put Roger Schmidt’s side ahead. Howeve, it was not all plain sailing for Schmidt as an error from new goalkeeper Yvon Mvogo allowed Tomas Suslov level it up at 1-1. The Swiss international and Jordan Teze were caught out playing the ball to each other in their own area and new Norwegian striker Jorgen Strand Larsen incepted a pass which landed at Suslov’s feet for the equalizer.
Soon after, PSV regained the lead as Donyell Malen was put through by Noni Madueke and finished past Sergio Padt. PSV were given a harsh penalty on 82 minutes which Padt saved from Malen and despite, Groningen having their chances to level the game up, PSV emerged as the victors with Gakpo’s second goal on three minutes from time. Notwithstanding, the horrendous error in defence for the hosts goals, Schmidt experienced a good start to his new head coach role at PSV.
The final game of the weekend saw RKC Waalwijk fall to Vitesse by the single goal thanks to a Oussama Darfalou effort in first half stoppage time.
The nineteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway at the Rat Verlegh Stadion where a goal from super-sub Gervane Kastaneer five minutes into the second half ultimately proved enough to earn struggling NACBreda a priceless point from their clash with ADO Den Haag in their battle to beat the drop.
Saturday’s action began in Almelo where goals from Mike van Duinen and Lennart Thy saw a resurgent PEC Zwolle post back-to-back victories for the first time since the end of September by seeing off hosts Heracles.
Elsewhere, goals from Luigi Bruins and Mounir El Hamdaoui saw Excelsior snap a run of five games without a win at the expense of rock bottom De Graafschap while a first-half double from Hirving Lozano saw reigning Eredivisie champions PSVEindhoven negotiate the challenge of visiting Groningen to open up a five-point lead at the top of the standings.
The day’s action was concluded in Venlo where a last-gasp effort from Michael Chacón in the fifth minute of added time saw FC Emmen snatch all three points in a five-goal thriller with VVV.
Sunday’s Eredivisie action began in Sittard where a 92nd-minute strike from Finn Stokkers saw Fortuna snap a run of three games without a win by seeing off visiting Vitesse.
Elsewhere, there were remarkable scenes at De Kuip where Feyenoord claimed Klassieker honours in emphatic fashion by hitting title-chasing Ajax for six while a lone Daniel Crowley effort a minute into the second half ultimately proved enough to earn Willem II all three points on the road in Utrecht.
The nineteenth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close in Friesland where an own goal from the unlucky Sherel Floranus and an Oussama Idrissi effort saw AZ Alkmaar make it three wins on the bounce in all competitions with a victory over Heerenveen.
With the winter break over, the eighteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening in Arnhem where a 67th-minute effort from Maikel van der Werff ultimately proved decisive as Vitesse edged out visiting Excelsior in a five-goal thriller.
Saturday’s action in the top flight of Dutch football began at the AFAS Stadion where AZ Alkmaar got back to winning ways by hitting FC Utrecht for three without reply.
Elsewhere, PEC Zwolle kicked off the Jaap Stam era in style by putting three past visiting Feyenoord while VVV Venlo made it back-to-back victories by hitting an undermanned ADO Den Haag for four on the road in The Hague.
The day’s Eredivisie action was brought to a close at the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadion where a new-look Groningen posted their first win since the start of December by smashing Heracles for three.
Sunday’s action got underway in Tilburg where goals from Pol Llonch and Marios Vrousai saw Willem II claim the bragging rights against an undermanned NAC Breda in the Brabantse derby.
Elsewhere, bottom-of-the-table De Graafschap gave their survival hopes a much-needed shot in the arm by smashing Fortuna Sittard for five while two goals in the space of the final ten minutes from Nicklas Pedersen saw FC Emmen snatch a late share of the spoils in their clash with defending Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven.
The eighteenth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close in spectacular fashion at the Johan Cruijff ArenA where a late leveller from Kik Pierie in the first minute of added time saw Heerenveen claim a last-gasp share of the spoils in an eight-goal thriller that also denied title-chasing Ajax the chance to replace PSV at the top of the standings.
With the near month-long winter break looming large on the horizon, the seventeenth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening at De Koel where goals from Tino-Sven Susic and Patrick Joosten saw hosts, VVV Venlo snap a run of five games without a win by turning away the challenge of an undermanned PEC Zwolle.
Saturday’s action in the top flight of Dutch football got off to a false start with ten-man Fortuna Sittard and struggling Groningen drawing a blank.
However, while goals were in short supply in Sittard, that certainly wasn’t the case elsewhere as reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven hit in-form AZ Alkmaar for three to open up a five-point lead over Ajax in second and, in the process, claim the title of ‘winter kampioen’ while, at the other end of the table, struggling NAC Breda gave their survival hopes a timely boost by hitting nine-man Heerenveen for four.
The day’s action was brought to a close at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadion where Heracles got back to winning ways by hitting hosts, Excelsior for three without reply.
Sunday’s action began at the Stadion Galgenwaard where Ajax rounded off the year by smashing hosts, Utrecht for three to cut pace-setting PSV’s advantage at the top of the standings back to two points once more.
Elsewhere, a 77th minute spot-kick from Abdenasser El Khayati saw ADO Den Haag grab a late share of the spoils from their clash with an undermanned Feyenoord while a 65th minute leveller from Vitesse Arnhem’s Matus Bero denied bottom-of-the-table De Graafschap a much-needed three points in Doetinchem.
The seventeenth round of Eredivisie action was concluded in Emmen where goals from Aras Ozbiliz and Fran Sol saw Willem II end the year with a win.
The sixteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening where ADO Den Haag got back to winning ways by hitting hosts, Willem II for three without reply on the road in Tilburg.
Saturday’s action in the Dutch top flight got off to a false start at the MAC3PARK Stadion where it was frustration all round for both PEC Zwolle and visiting, NAC Breda as it ended goalless between two sides struggling at the wrong end of the table.
Elsewhere, a 94th-minute strike from substitute Bjørn Johnsen saw AZ Alkmaar snatch all three points at the death from their encounter with visiting Excelsior while reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven put European elimination firmly behind them by hitting nine-man Heracles for four to move five points clear at the top of the standings.
Saturday’s Eredivisie action was concluded in Arnhem where an 80th-minute effort from Oussama Darfalou ultimately proved enough to see Vitesse edge out visiting VVV Venlo.
Sunday’s action began in Friesland where FC Utrecht withstood a second-half fightback from hosts, Heerenveen to ultimately emerge victorious in a five-goal thriller.
Elsewhere, title-chasing Ajax closed the gap between themselves and table-topping PSV to just two points once more after smashing a hapless De Graafschap for eight while a late double from super-sub Nicklas Pedersen saw FC Emmen come from behind to snatch a late win against fellow strugglers Groningen.
The sixteenth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close at De Kuip where goals from Lars Hutten and substitute, Ahmed El Messaoudi saw Fortuna Sittard bag a shock victory over Feyenoord.
Results: Week 16
Willem II 0-3 ADO Den Haag
PEC Zwolle 0-0 NAC Breda
Heracles Almelo 0-4 PSV Eindhoven
AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Excelsior
Vitesse Arnhem 2-1 VVV Venlo
SC Heerenveen 2-3 FC Utrecht
AFC Ajax 8-0 De Graafschap
FC Groningen 1-2 FC Emmen
Feyenoord 0-2 Fortuna Sittard
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The fifteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway with two fixtures taking place on Friday evening. The first of which saw AZ Alkmaar get back to winning ways by hitting Fortuna Sittard for three without reply before reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven put the loss of their 100% league record firmly behind them by putting six past a hapless Excelsior at the Philips Stadion.
Saturday’s action began in Tilburg where Heerenveen made it back-to-back victories by hitting an undermanned Willem II for five.
Elsewhere, title-chasing Ajax closed the gap between themselves and top-of-the-table PSV to just two points once more after putting four past struggling PEC Zwolle.
However, while Saturday’s first two fixtures yielded a whopping eleven goals between them, there were none to be found in The Hague where ADO Den Haag and De Graafschap drew a blank in the day’s final fixture.
Sunday’s Eredivisie action got underway at the Stadion Galgenwaard where FC Utrecht hit Heracles for three without reply – a result which saw Dick Advocaat’s men leapfrog their guests into fourth place in the standings.
Elsewhere, having hit VVV Venlo for four on Thursday evening in a fixture rearranged from earlier in the campaign, Feyenoord posted another four goals to see off the challenge of hosts, FC Emmen and, in the process, record a sixth consecutive victory in all competitions.
In sharp contrast, there were no goals to be found at De Koel where Sergio Padt was the hero in securing Groningen a priceless point from their clash with VVV Venlo.
The fifteenth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close at the Rat Verlegh Stadion where Arno Verschueren’s 84th-minute effort ultimately proved just enough to see struggling NAC Breda edge out an undermanned Vitesse Arnhem and move off the foot of the table.