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.
Friday 2nd October 2020
FC Utrecht 1-1 sc Heerenveen
Saturday 3rd October 2020
Vitesse 3-0 Heracles
RKC Waalwijk 0-0 PEC Zwolle
VVV-Venlo 1-2 ADO Den Haag
FC Twente 1-1 FC Emmen
Sunday 4th October 2020
FC Groningen 1-0 Ajax
Sparta Rotterdam 3-4 AZ Alkmaar
Willem 1-4 Feyenoord
PSV 2-0 Fortuna Sittard