Tag Archives: Vitesse

EREDIVISIE REPORT: Tadic to the rescue for Ajax

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The second round of action in the Dutch top flight got underway on Friday evening at the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadion where a lone goal from Daniel Crowley saw Willem II post their first points of the campaign at the expense of hosts, FC Groningen, who remain without a point and propping up the table after succumbing to successive defeats in the opening two rounds of the season.

Saturday’s Eredivisie action began in Venlo where a late Dusan Tadic spot-kick saw an out-of-sorts Ajax snatch all three points against VVV.

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Elsewhere, NAC Breda brought De Graafschap back down to earth by hitting the newly promoted side for three, while a last-minute effort from substitute, Dante Rigo spared reigning Eredivisie champions, PSV Eindhoven’s blushes in Sittard against another of the league’s new boys, Fortuna.

Saturday’s action was rounded out in Almelo where Heracles followed up their impressive display at the Johan Cruijff ArenA last time out by hitting a hapless, ADO Den Haag for four.

Sunday’s action got underway at the Stadion Galgenwaard where first half goals from Joris van Overeem (who was later sent off) and Sean Klaiber saw FC Utrecht post their first points of the campaign at the expense of visiting, PEC Zwolle, who remain pointless.

Elsewhere, AZ Alkmaar ensured they would end the weekend back at the top of the standings by following up last week’s five-goal thrashing of NAC with a four-goal trouncing of top flight debutants, FC Emmen, while Feyenoord put a nightmare week in the rear view by hitting Rotterdam rivals, Excelsior for three at De Kuip.

Week two was brought to a close in Friesland where an 81st minute effort from Tim Matavz earned another side who saw their European hopes fade in mid-week, Vitesse Arnhem, a late share of the spoils against Heerenveen.

Results: Week 2

FC Groningen 0-1 Willem II

NAC Breda 3-0 De Graafschap

VVV Venlo 0-1 AFC Ajax

Fortuna Sittard 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

Heracles Almelo 4-2 ADO Den Haag

FC Utrecht 2-0 PEC Zwolle

Feyenoord 3-0 Excelsior

FC Emmen 1-4 AZ Alkmaar

SC Heerenveen 1-1 Vitesse Arnhem

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Eredivisie Team of the Week: PSV’s Gaston glows on Week One

The Eredivisie season is back and so is our Player of the Year tournament. Every week Will Burns and Steve Davies select the best 11 from that week’s action and each player is awarded one point. One member of the team will win the ‘Player of the Week’ award and be awarded two points. Check the current standings here.

Due to the fantastic performance in PSV’s emphatic 4-0 win over FC Utrecht, with a goal and assist we have awarded Gaston Pereiro the ‘Player of the Week’ award and he receives the two points.

PSV hold two other positions in the team with Denzel Dumfries and Steven Bergwijn, who notched goals themselves in the Saturday evening’s game. Heerenveen, 3-2 winners over PEC Zwolle on Friday night, have a pair in the team: Arber Zeneli and Morten Thorsby. Thorsby notched two goals before receiving a red card near the hour mark, however we felt his performance still warranted a place in the eleven. Zwolle striker Mike van Duinen notched both goals for this side in the opening game of the Eredivisie campaign.

AZ were big winners on Sunday afternoon smashing NAC Breda for five and Teun Koopmeiners was the star of the show. He is joined in the team by left-back Thomas Ouwejan, both were scorers in the 5-0 victory. Vitesse also hit five goals this past weekend (5-1 vs. FC Groningen) and Roy Beerens created one and scored one to gain a place in the team of the week.

Ajax failed on the opening day against Heracles and if it was not for Matthijs de Ligt it could have been worse. The 19-year-old defender headed home an late equaliser to spare Ajax’s blushes in a 1-1 draw.

Rounding out the team is German goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall who was unstoppable in VVV’s 1-0 over Willem II.

More next week. Remember to keep an eye on the standings of the Player of the Season tournament by clicking here.

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EREDIVISIE Week One Preview and Betting Tips

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Will Burns makes his return with three selections for this opening weekend of Eredivisie action.

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PSV vs. FC Utrecht

Saturday, 19:45

We witnessed major change in Eindhoven this past summer as manager Philip Cocu left to take on a new challenge in Turkey with Fenerbahçe. He was replaced by former team-mate Marc van Bommel despite a lack of experience at this level. Last weekend, Van Bommel’s debut did get off to a good start losing on penalties to rivals Feyenoord as the Rotterdammers lifted the Johan Cruyff Schaal.

This weekend, Van Bommel begins the quest to retain the Eredivisie title against FC Utrecht and he will be encouraged by the talent he has inherited in the PSV squad. A major plus over the summer is the decision of Mexican superstar Hirving Lozano to stay in Eindhoven despite impressing at the World Cup in Russia and attraction attention from some major clubs across Europe.

De Boeren have seen success in 21 of their last 22 home matches against Utrecht in all competitions and I predict more the same on Saturday evening with plenty of goals. Utrecht saw masses of goal action on their travels last season, but specifically in 2018 so far as they have seen over 2.5 goals in their last eight away games.

PSV have notched at least two goals in nine of their last 10 games against Utrecht and with attacking talents like Lozano, Luuk de Jong and Steven Bergwijn at their disposal I feel getting on PSV on the handicap is the best bet in this one. 

Recommended Bet: PSV -1 Asian Handicap – £10 on at 2.20 to win £22.00 at Paddy Power

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De Graafschap vs. Feyenoord

Sunday, 13:30

Feyenoord were hammered four goals without reply by Slovakian underdogs AS Trenčín on Thursday night and it will not get any easier when they travel to Doetinchem to face Eredivisie new boys De Graafschap.

An embarrassing defeat in European qualification has not provided Giovanni van Bronckhorst with the best preparation for the new Eredivisie season. The former Arsenal and Celtic man has to contend with the absences of summer signing Yassin Ayoub and last season’s top scorer Nicolai Jörgensen too which will hamper their creation going forward.

De Graafschap will see this as an excellent opportunity to claim a huge scalp and defeat the Rotterdam giants, who start with the inexperienced 20-year-old Justin Bijlow in goal, and they may just have one eye on Thursday’s night return game against Trenčín.

Taking all this into account, the home fans at the Stadion De Vijverberg could be celebrating on Sunday afternoon. It’s long odds but I placing a bet on De Graafschap Draw No Bet at 3/1 is worth a punt.

Recommended Bet: De Graafschap Draw No Bet – £10 on at 4.00 to win £40.00 at 888Sport

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Vitesse Arnhem vs. FC Groningen

Sunday, 13:30

Vitesse Arnhem are already three weeks into their new campaign due to the qualifying stages of the Europa League. Leonid Slutsky’s side have successfully dispatched Romania outfit FC Viitorul 5-3 on aggregate and were defeated 1-0 by FC Basel on Thursday night in their first leg of the third round of qualification.

Their opponents on Sunday, FC Groningen head into their first competitive game which surely gives the hosts the advantage, however Vitesse will see the second leg against Basel vitally important financially and may have thoughts elsewhere on Sunday afternoon. Groningen have become draw specialists after claiming just a point in five of their last six away league games and four of those games finished 1-1.

New manager Danny Buijs will be very pleased if his side can leave the Gelredome with a point on the opening weekend and I see that as the most likely result.

Recommended Bet: Draw – £10 on at 4.20 to win £42.00 at Betfair

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Eredivisie Standouts: No. 3 – Mason Mount

It is without a doubt that the Netherlands’ three biggest club sides are AFC Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and reigning Champions Feyenoord, however scratch beneath the surface of the Eredivisie and there continues to be a common theme year after year; a wealth of fantastic young players with raw, untapped potential.

In this new series exclusive to Total Dutch Football, Joe Donnohue looks at one of the ‘Eredivisie Standouts’ who continues to leave his mark on the league outside of the traditional ‘Big Three’ squads.

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Mason Mount – Vitesse Arnhem

Chelsea’s policy of loaning young players the length and breadth of the footballing world is well-known across footballing circles. One such beneficiary, if you will, of this policy is Chelsea’s 19-year-old attacking midfielder Mason Mount.

This season the English teenager has spent the season at Vitesse Arnhem, notorious for being the recipients of many a Chelsea loanee over the past number of years. Not all are a success and some fail to adapt to life across the North Sea but Mount is beginning to look like a real contender for the odd cameo in Chelsea’s first team.

Mount has three goals in his last seven Eredivisie matches, claiming the Man of the Match award in three of his last nine.

The 19-year-old was largely restricted to brief appearances from the Vitesse bench at the beginning of the season managing just 107 league minutes by the time November arrived. However, since then Mount has started all but one of Vitesse’s league games and it has paid dividends for both the team and the player.

Four goals followed which brought his overall tally to six for the season, along with two assists. Mount has not missed a single minute of Eredivisie action since the 19th November 2017, a stretch which has seen Vitesse win five times and draw three in 12 matches, including a dazzling display in the most recent victory over reigning champions Feyenoord.

In terms of direct goal involvement, Mount has been involved in nine Vitesse goals this season, which trumps his four goals and three assists in last season’s Premier League 2 campaign for Chelsea’s U-23 side. This has been achieved in 500 fewer minutes too, highlighting his progression as a footballer over the past year.

The England U-19 international operates in an advanced role, often just behind the striker Tim Matavz.

Having had only one season of U-23 under his belt, it was anticipated that Mount wouldn’t play a starring role in Vitesse’s season, rather it would instead be a growth experience and he would be around the first team but limited to opportunities from the bench.

Mount has shown resolve to fight for a regular berth in Vitesse’s team and maintain it with good performances. Averaging 2.5 Key Passes per 90, it is clear that Mount has natural ability to accurately find a teammate and also vision that not all players possess.

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This is evident when watching the teenager’s performances. He displays a clear poise and comfortability on the ball. At times his passing decisions are questionable but that can be attributed to his confidence at attempting difficult passes when perhaps there is a simpler option available.

A great deal of Mount’s key passes come from set pieces, either from free-kicks or corners. As Vitesse’s designated taker of set pieces Mount clearly has superior technique to many of his senior teammates despite being many years their junior.

Going back to his audacity to attempt more difficult manoeuvres, this is reflected in his dribbling statistics. In the Europa League particularly, Mount likes to open his legs and take on his opponents, averaging close to three successful dribbles per 90. His success rate at this is one of the competition’s highest at 92%.

This data is possibly not as representative as his Eredivisie statistics given the fact that he has played only 367 minutes in Europe this season, as opposed to his 1200 in the league. It is still impressive, nonetheless, especially considering his success rate in the league is still relatively high at 70%.

Mount’s shooting accuracy is very impressive, having scored six league goals from just 13 shots on target. This is notable for a number of reasons, even more so given the fact that he frequently takes free-kicks in shooting territory. His free-kick which looped over the PEC Zwolle goalkeeper at the end of January showed either a stroke of good fortune or exceptional vision and technique.

The Chelsea loanee is a talent, that much is clear. He has struggled to replicate his Eredivisie output in the Europa League, potentially hinting at the fact that he is not ready to play at a higher level at this moment in time. Although, given his progression over the past year and exposure to first team football in a competitive environment, there appears to be a strong correlation.

One thing is clear; once Mount returns to Stamford Bridge his days of regular football in the U-23’s is over. He has demonstrated his ability to play – and shine – at a much higher level.

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EREDIVISIE 2017/18 REPORT: Week Twenty-Three

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With the midweek round of fixtures having only concluded on Thursday evening, the twenty third round of action in the Dutch top flight got underway with five games on Saturday evening, the first of which saw Heracles, fresh from being hit for six by NAC Breda, get back to winning ways by edging out visiting, Willem II thanks to some quick thinking from ‘keeper, Bram Castro, whose throw set Brandley Kuwas away to slip in Vincent Vermeij for the 23–year-old to claim his third goal in his last four outings on the stroke of half time.

At the same time, two goals in the space of five first half minutes ultimately proved enough to see FC Utrecht post back-to-back victories for the first time under the stewardship of Jean-Paul de Jong.

It took the home side just seventeen minutes to break the deadlock when, having stolen a march on Philippe Sandler and drawn the attentions of an onrushing Diederik Boer, Sander van de Streek would square the ball for an unmarked Gyrano Kerk to roll his sixth of the campaign in all competitions into an unguarded net.

The hosts would double their advantage just five minutes later when Zakaria Labyad found himself in the right place at the right time to squeeze the ball home after Sandler’s attempted block of a Mark van der Maarel effort cannoned off Boer and into the 24-year-old’s path.

Despite ending a run of three successive defeats by securing victory over Heerenveen last time out, PEC Zwolle failed to build on Tuesday’s win despite being handed a late route back into the game when, having seen second half substitute, Queensy Menig go tumbling in the area following a clumsy challenge from Ramon Leeuwin, Mustafa Saymak stepped up to smash home the resultant spot kick in the second minute of added time.

Elsewhere a double from Steven Bergwijn saw PSV Eindhoven come from behind to take all three points against rock-bottom Sparta Rotterdam and move ten points clear at the top of the standings ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures.

Despite only winning one of their last twelve, a shock appeared to be on the cards when Kenneth Dougall nodded home a Paco van Moorsel cross to open the scoring for the hosts after the visitors could only partially clear their lines following a corner from the right with just six minutes on the clock.

However, normal service was resumed four minutes before the break when the persistence of Mauro Junior saw the ball land at the feet of Steven Bergwijn who restored parity for the Eredivisie pacesetters by curling the ball beyond the reach of Jannik Huth from just outside the area before the 20-year-old completed the turnaround eleven minutes into the second half by smashing a perfectly weighted knock down from Luuk de Jong beyond the reach of the home ‘keeper from just outside the area.

However, a hat trick would elude the young forward late on when his shot came back off Huth’s crossbar in the third minute of added time.

Having watched Dick Advocaat’s side fail to take anything earlier in the evening, fellow strugglers, Roda JC looked to have taken full advantage when, having capped a strong run by playing a neat give and go with the in-form Jorn Vancamp, Maecky Ngombo nodded home his first of the season to put Robert Molenaar’s side into the driving seat ten minutes before the break against Heerenveen.

The hosts might have gotten back on level terms just five minutes after falling behind but Stijn Schaars saw his rasping free kick come back off Hidde Jurjus’ crossbar.

However, the visitors would ultimately have to settle for a point when a lovely back heel from substitute, Henk Veerman allowed Arber Zeneli to cap off a move he had earlier set in motion and restore parity for the hosts by weaving his way through the last of the visitor’s back line sixteen minutes from time.

Saturday’s Eredivisie action was concluded with VVV Venlo holding high-flying, AZ Alkmaar to a goalless draw at the AFAS Stadion.

Sunday’s Eredivisie action got underway at the Johan Cruijff ArenA where a Lasse Schone spot kick nineteen minutes from time ultimately proved the difference between title-chasing Ajax and struggling FC Twente.

Despite getting off to the perfect start when, having set David Neres away down the left, Justin Kluivert was on hand to finish the move he started when Donny van de Beek turned the Brazilian’s deep cross back into the path of the 18-year-old with just three minutes on the clock, the hosts would fail to build on their early supremacy and find themselves pegged back in the 66th minute when, having misjudged a long clearance from Joel Drommel, Joel Veltman allowed Tom Boere to steal a march before turning the ball inside for Adnane Tighadouini to restore parity for Gertjan Verbeek’s struggling side who had found themselves second off bottom prior to kick off.

However, the hosts would be handed the opportunity to restore their lead just five minutes later when a clumsy challenge from Peet Bijen sent Hakim Ziyech tumbling just inside the area, leaving referee, Serdar Gözübüyük with little choice but to award the home side a penalty.

It was left to Lasse Schone to convert the resultant spot kick by sending Drommel, the hero of the penalty shoot-out that decided December’s KNVB Beker tie between the sides, the wrong way to leave Ajax seven points adrift of table-topping PSV and Twente four points from safety.

Despite drawing a blank after hitting Heracles for six on Wednesday evening, NAC Breda were more than happy to take a point from their goalless encounter with Excelsior at the Van Donge & De Roo Stadion which saw Stijn Vreven’s side move three points clear of the bottom three.

Things might have been different for the hosts had a rasping drive from Hicham Faik found the back of the net instead of clipping the outside of the returning Nigel Bertrams’ left hand upright with just seven minutes on the clock and, what looked to be a fine headed finish from Mike van Duinen two minutes into the second half, not been chalked off by referee, Danny Makkelie after his assistant adjudged Stanley Elbers’ cross to have gone out of play before finding the head of the 26-year-old.

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While there mightn’t have been much to write home about in Rotterdam, the same could not be said for events at the GelreDome where Vitesse Arnhem came from a goal down to hit nine-man Feyenoord for three.

Having put last Sunday’s defeat at the hands of VVV behind them by hitting Groningen for three on Thursday evening, reigning Eredivisie champions Feyenoord appeared to be on track to record back-to-back league victories for the first time since the turn of the year when Tonny Vilhena put the visitors ahead in the 21st minute with his third goal in his last five games in all competitions after Bilal Başaçıkoğlu flicked a Steven Berghuis cross into the path of the unmarked 23-year-old.

However, having seen their lead threatened when Mat Miazga saw his looping header strike the top of Brad Jones’ crossbar shortly before the half hour mark, the away side would see their advantage wiped out two minutes before the break when another man on loan from Chelsea, Mason Mount picked out the head of Guram Kashia, who duly claimed his third of the campaign by forcing the ball past Jones from a few yards out.

With the game in the balance, a rash lunge from Başaçıkoğlu saw the balance of power shift in favour of the home side as, just seconds after referee, Dennis Higler had given the 22-year-old a straight red card for his challenge on Thulani Serero, a quickly taken free kick found its way to new signing, Roy Beerens whose wayward effort unwittingly picked out the head of an untracked Bryan Linssen to put the hosts into a 66th minute lead.

With the visitors lucky not to find themselves further behind sixteen minutes from time when Linssen turned Mount’s driven corner onto the top of Jones’ crossbar, any hopes Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side may have harboured of taking anything from the game were effectively ended nine minutes from time when first half replacement, Tyrell Malacia was also shown a straight red after bringing down a breaking Beerens.

Again, the hosts would waste little time in making their numerical advantage count when Linssen claimed his second of the night and three vital points in the home side’s quest to secure a place in the UEFA Europa League play-off places by nodding home a Beerens cross just five minutes later.

That victory over the reigning champions proved especially important for Henk Fraser’s side after fellow European hopefuls, ADO Den Haag were held goalless in Groningen in a match which rounded out the twenty third round of action in the Dutch top flight and left the men from The Hague five points adrift of seventh place, Vitesse, who occupy the final play-off place.

In a match that swung from end to end with alarming regularity throughout, it was the visitors who were the first to threaten when Bjørn Johnsen was denied on the line by a covering Deyovaisio Zeefuik with just two minutes on the clock at the Noordlease Stadion before having a last-ditch block from Abdenasser El Khayati to thank for keeping them on level terms shortly before the quarter hour mark when the 29-year-old was on hand to clear Tom van de Looi’s goal-bound header off the line.

However, Alfons Groenendijk’s side might have snatched all three points had Danny Bakker’s header found the back of Sergio Padt’s net instead of clipping the home ‘keeper’s crossbar two minutes before the break.

Results: Week 23

Heracles 1-0 Willem II

FC Utrecht 2-1 PEC Zwolle

Sparta Rotterdam 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

SC Heerenveen 1-1 Roda JC

AZ Alkmaar 0-0 VVV Venlo

AFC Ajax 2-1 FC Twente

Excelsior 0-0 NAC Breda

Vitesse Arnhem 3-1 Feyenoord

FC Groningen 0-0 ADO Den Haag

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KNVB BEKER REPORT: Final

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AZ Alkmaar 0-2 Vitesse Arnhem

De Kuip, Rotterdam

Sunday 30th April 2017

Vitesse Arnhem’s talismanic forward, Ricky van Wolfswinkel bagged a late brace to lead his side to KNVB Beker glory at the expense of AZ Alkmaar in the final which was held in Rotterdam on Sunday evening – the 28-year-old guiding the club to it’s first major trophy in it’s 125-year history in the process.

However, despite their grandstand finish to the game, Henk Fraser’s side were second best for much of the opening period and were lucky not to fall behind when, with just three minutes on the clock, a Derrick Luckassen free kick from more than 25 yards rattled Eloy Room’s crossbar.

Yet, despite commanding the majority of the ball, AZ – who last tasted cup glory in 2013, failed to work Room and could only fashion one other clear-cut chance of note before the interval – Wout Weghorst firing wide of the Vitesse ‘keeper’s left hand upright after a slick piece of play by Joris van Overeem had initially released Alireza Jahanbakhsh down the right before the Iranian international’s cut back had found the former Heracles forward in acres of space just outside the box.

Following a lacklustre opening forty five minutes, it was Fraser’s side – making their first final appearance since 1990, who emerged from the interval the brighter – Chelsea loanee, Nathan testing the handling of Dutch international, Tim Krul in the AZ net three minutes into the second half.

Predictably, with the final pitting fifth against sixth in the Eredivisie standings and just a point separating the two in the table, there was little to choose between the sides for much of the second stanza with the game failing to catch fire until twenty minutes from time when Room was called upon to deny a back post header from AZ centre half, Rens van Eijden just seconds after Luckassen had seen a similar effort cleared off the line by Ricky van Wolfswinkel with the Vitesse ‘keeper caught in no-man’s land following a corner from the right.

Despite AZ, who were looking to lift the cup for the fifth time – having secured their final berth via a nail-biting penalty shootout victory over second tier, Cambuur at the start of March, looking the more likely to make the breakthrough, it was Vitesse who, against the run of play, hit the front nine minutes from time when, having stolen a march on the Alkmaar back line, van Wolfswinkel headed a Milot Rashica cross from the right past Krul from close range to become the first Vitesse player to score in the final of the KNVB Beker since Piet van Bochove in 1927.

Shell-shocked, AZ set about attempting to claw their way back onto level terms. But, try as they might, van den Brom’s men failed to fashion any clear-cut opportunities and, instead saw Vitesse double their advantage two minutes from time when a clearance from Fiorentina loanee, Kevin Diks found the run of van Wolfswinkel – who, having taken the ball in his stride , cut inside Ron Vlaar before curling home his 21st of what has thus far been a prolific campaign in front of goal in all competitions for the 28-year-old beyond the reach of Krul to secure, not only a first KNVB Beker triumph for the Arnhem-based outfit – who can now look forward to a place in the group stage of the UEFA Europa League next term as a result, but also the first major trophy in the club’s 125-year existence.

Man of the Match: Ricky van Wolfswinkel.         

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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 3

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Here is round three of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our 2016/17 Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition. All players have performed so well this weekend that Will Burns has selected them in the team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.

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GOALKEEPER

KOSTAS LAMPROU – WILLEM II: Kept Ajax at bay in his side’s shock 2-1 win at the Amsterdam arena.

DEFENDERS

SANTIAGO ARIAS – PSV: Inspirational in PSV’s 4-0 thumping away to PEC Zwolle.

TERENCE KONGOLO – FEYENOORD: The top performer at the back for Feyenoord, collecting their third clean sheet in a row away to Heracles.

HECTOR MORENO – PSV: Not only did he hold the PSV defence together he notched the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win.

RIDGECIANO HAPS – AZ ALKMAAR: The 23-year-old was tight at the back and great going forward in AZ’s 2-1 victory in Utrecht.

MIDFIELDERS

ERIK FALKENBURG – WILLEM II: The creator of the all important equalizer for Willem II in their first ever away victory over Ajax in their history.

ANDRES GUARDADO – PSV: The Mexican ran the show and his creativity should have produced more goals for PSV in their 1-0 win against AZ.

JORRIT HENDRIX – PSV: A beast in the midfield, defending the back four and pulling the strings in attack.

ATTACKERS

LEWIS BAKER – VITESSE: Notched a great goal in the narrow 1-0 win over Roda.

LUUK DE JONG – PSV: Big Luuk finally notched his first goal of the season against Zwolle and provided an assist to earn his spot in the Team of the Week.

ENAS UNAL – FC TWENTE: Flawless. The Manchester City loanee was the standout performer of the weekend, notching a hat-trick to claim the PLAYER OF THE WEEK award.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: Week Two

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As always, Steven Davies is on hand to inform you of all the action in Week two of the Eredivisie.

Week two of the 2016/17 Eredivisie season got underway on Friday night at the Abe Lenstra Stadion where, for the second week in succession, Jurgen Streppel’s Heerenveen came from behind to share the spoils in a four-goal affair.

In contrast to Streppel’s delight, his opposite number, FC Utrecht coach, Erik ten Hag, was left feeling short-changed, not only by the controversial manner in which the home side squared the score-line – a goalmouth scramble (which could just as easily have resulted in a free kick to the visiting side) following a Heerenveen corner which was finished by Iranian international, Reza Ghoochannejhad in the 69th minute, but also the fact that ten Hag’s men had, for the second week in succession, put in a performance worthy of much more than the single point his side ultimately left Friesland with following two quick-fire goals in three minutes just after the half hour mark – a Sebastien Haller penalty followed by a Bart Ramselaar cracker from well outside the area that had initially overturned Luciano Slagveer’s 12th minute opener for the home side.

Despite being just two weeks into the 2016/17 campaign, things are rapidly reaching crisis proportions in Groningen after Ernest Faber’s men followed up last week’s humiliating pounding at the hands of Feyenoord by slipping to an embarrassing defeat to Feyenoord’s Rotterdam neighbours, Excelsior in the early evening fixture on Saturday.

By sharp contrast, new Excelsior coach, Mitchell van der Gaag has enjoyed a perfect start with two wins on the bounce. A glancing header from 23-year-old central defender, Jurgen Mattheij after just two minutes had elapsed at the Stadion Woudestein followed by an incredible David Beckham-esque, Kevin Vermeulen lob from inside his own half of the field just seconds after Groningen ‘keeper Sergio Padt had rattled the Excelsior post with a header after coming up for a last-gasp free kick in the second minute of stoppage time secured the points for the tiny Rotterdam outfit and left Groningen at the bottom of the early season standings.

Mitchell van der Gaag wasn’t the only coach celebrating an unlikely six-point haul from his side’s opening two fixtures of the season after Zeljko Petrovic guided ADO Den Haag to an unlikely victory over Vitesse Arnhem at the GelreDome.

Things had started well for Henk Fraser’s side – Ricky van Wolfswinkel putting the Arnhem outfit in the ascendancy after 22 minutes, but ADO were back on level terms just after the half hour through Gervane Kastaneer who struck again just after the hour mark to secure all three points for the men from The Hague.

The surprising results continued at the Amsterdam ArenA on Saturday evening.  With the first leg of their UEFA Champions League playoff against Russian club, Rostov on the horizon on Tuesday evening, Ajax coach, Peter Bosz surprisingly elected against shuffling his pack for the visit of Roda JC. A Kasper Dolberg brace either side of an Adil Auassar effort should have been enough to see de Godenzonen past the plucky Kerkrade outfit. However, a Tom van Hyfte equaliser deep into stoppage time salvaged a point for the visitors despite Frederic Ananou seeing red for Yannis Anastasiou’s men after picking up his second yellow card of the match with seconds remaining on the clock.

Saturday’s Eredivisie action concluded at the MAC3PARK Stadion in Zwolle where the home side were incredibly hit for three without reply by newly promoted Sparta. A well taken goal from Loris Brogno following a deft back-heel from Stijn Spierings and Aussie forward, Craig Goodwin’s deflected effort either side of the half time interval set the visitors on their way to victory with Brogno adding a touch of the emphatic to the score line for the reigning Eerste Divisie champions with three minutes to go.

Heracles easily dispatched a woeful Willem II in Almelo in Sunday’s early fixture – racing out to a three goal lead through an Iliass Bel Hassani freekick after 26 minutes followed by a Paul Gladon double after the interval. Erik Falkenburg’s spectacular lob of Heracles ‘keeper, Bram Castro may well prove to be a strong contender for Goal of the Week in the Eredivisie but, with just 8 minutes left on the clock, it proved too little too late for Erwin van de Looi’s men who have now conceded an alarming seven goals in their opening two matches of 2016/17.

Two teams seemingly moving in polar opposite directions met a De Kuip where Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s, Feyenoord overcame the spirited but ultimately futile efforts of Rene Hake’s beleaguered FC Twente. Jens Toornstra opened the scoring for the Rotterdammers on 23 minutes but the anticipated avalanche of goals failed to materialise thereafter as the home side found their counterparts from Enschede in stubborn mood – Nicolai Jorgensen’s second goal of the season eventually putting the game to bed with ten minutes remaining to leave Feyenoord perched atop of the fledgling Eredivisie table on goal difference.

A real ‘game of two halves’ unfolded in Deventer where newly promoted Go Ahead Eagles found themselves under immense pressure during a first half dominated in terms of chances and possession by Peter Hyballa’s NEC Nijmegen – the visitors deservedly taking the lead when a Quincy Owusu Abeyie through-ball split the Eagles’ brittle back line and put Kevin Mayi in the clear – the forward beating ‘keeper, Theo Zwarthoed with a low drive.

However, despite the visitor’s first half dominance, the second stanza began with the home side on the front foot – Hans de Koning’s charges equalising through a 25 yard thunderbolt from skipper, Sander Duits just four minutes after the resumption before Estonian import, Henrik Ojamaa cut in from the right and curled a well-placed effort into the top right hand corner of Joris Delle’s net to send the raucous home crowd at De Adelaarshorst into ecstasy just short of the hour mark.

But, the Deventer-based outfit failed to emulate fellow promoted side, Sparta’s exploits from the previous day – being denied their first win back in the top flight by Frenchman, Mayi, who, having exchanged a quick one-two on half way following the breakdown of an attack by a home side in search on their third of the afternoon, found himself once more one on one with Zwarthoed who he beat for a second time to tie the score at two apiece but neither team could fashion a winning goal.

The second round of matches was rounded out in Eindhoven where reigning champions, PSV squeezed past a resolute AZ Alkmaar in a largely uneventful encounter thanks to a Hector Moreno header after 52 minutes of play at the Philips Stadion.

RESULTS

SC Heerenveen 2-2 FC Utrecht

Excelsior 2-0 Groningen

Vitesse 1- 2 ADO Den Haag

AFC Ajax 2-2 Roda JC

PEC Zwolle 0-3 Sparta Rotterdam

Heracles 3-1 Willem II

Feyenoord 2-0 FC Twente

Go Ahead Eagles 2-2 NEC Nijmegen

PSV Eindhoven 1-0 AZ Alkmaar

RESULTS

NEC Nijmegen 1-1 PEC Zwolle

ADO Den Haag 3-0 Go Ahead Eagles

FC Utrecht 1-2 PSV Eindhoven

FC Twente 1-2 Excelsior

Willem II 1-4 Vitesse Arnhem

Groningen 0-5 Feyenoord

AZ Alkmaar 2-2 Heerenveen

Sparta Rotterdam 1-3 AFC Ajax

Roda JC 1- 1 Heracles

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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 1

Header-TeamOfTheWeek

Welcome to week one of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our 2016/17 Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Will Burns has selected them in the team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.

TeamOfTheWeek-1

GOALKEEPER

ELOY ROOM – VITESSE: A Fran Sol goal was the only thing that spoiled the fantastic outing for Eloy Room in his side’s 4-1 away win to Edwin van de Looi’s Willem II.

DEFENDERS

GIOVANNI TROUPEE – FC UTRECHT: At only 18, on his first start for Utrecht, the attacking Troupee was very impressive, defending well and forcing Jetro Willems into some difficult decisions.

ERIC BOTTEGHIN – FEYENOORD: FC Groningen rarely threatened due to Botteghin’s defensive play and great reading of the game.

DANIEL SCHWAAB – PSV: A solid performance from the experienced German that may force PSV fans to ask ‘Jeffrey who?’

LUCAS WOUDENBERG – FEYENOORD: Another youngster that impressed and deserving of claiming the left-back spot in the TOTW.

MIDFIELDERS

DAVY PROPPER – PSV: Lead the midfield to inspire a PSV comeback against a plucky FC Utrecht side in the 2-1 win.

TONNY VILHENA – FEYENOORD: Dominant performance in midfield and bagged himself a goal in the 5-0 demolition of FC Groningen.

DALEY SINKGRAVEN – AJAX: Finally looked settled in the Amsterdammers line-up and provided a great goal to give Ajax the lead in the 3-1 away win against newly promoted Sparta.

ATTACKERS

MITCHELL VAN BERGEN – VITESSE: Did anyone forget this kid is only 16 years old when watching him on Saturday?

NICOLAI JORGENSEN – FEYENOORD: A great performance for the Danish international in his league debut since his move from FC Copenhagen. Capped off with a goal.

ELJERO ELIA – FEYENOORD: The former Southampton winger notched a hat-trick and deserves the PLAYER OF THE WEEK award. Not even a dislocated finger could stop him on Sunday.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.

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EREDIVISIE Week 1 Betting Tips

This article is produced in association with HeaderBlue

As usual Will Burns is on hand with his thoughts on two of this weekend’s Eredivisie games. The very best of luck if you are betting!

WillemII-Vitesse

Saturday 5th August 2016 – 19:45BST

WILLEM II v VITESSE

After taking in their friendly against Newcastle United last weekend, I feel we could see a resurgence from Vitesse this season under Henk Fraser especially with the squad he has at hand. Although, Milot Rashica & Navarone Foor will sit out the today’s visit to Tilburg through injury. One player that to watch that impressed me against The Magpies is likely to start on the bench, 19-year-old Yuning Zhang. The Chinese international striker had a good pre-season overall, but new recruit Ricky van Wolfswinkel is tipped to begin the game in his return to Eredivisie and I think he will play a key role in this game.

Willem II will be led out this season by Edwin van de Looi, who joined from FC Groningen this summer, and he will hand debuts to striker Fran Sol (a former Real Madrid youth), midfielders Jari Schuurman, a loan signing from Feyenoord and two permanent signings in Thom Haye (AZ) and Andreas Calcan (Universitatea Cluj).

Looking at the pre-season friendly stats (which is usually risky, I am confident about goals going in here. The safe banker bet here for me is with Bet365 and their Over 2.5 Goals with Both Teams to Score option priced at just above evens.

TIP: Over 2.5 Goals with Both Teams to Score (2PTs placed on 2.05 at Bet365)

 Sparta-Ajax

Sunday 6th August 2016 – 13:30BST

SPARTA ROTTERDAM v AJAX

After their successful jaunt to Greece in midweek which saw them tie up a Champions League playoff with FC Rostov, Ajax travelled to what will be a raucous crowd in Rotterdam as the oldest club in Dutch Football, Sparta make their return to the top flight in six years.

Sparta manager Alex Pastoor, as the norm with promoted sides, has seen his squad undergo major changes over the summer with 11 leaving and ten arriving. His side will be more than up for this game and I think likely to score. Winger Thomas Verhaar, scorer of 24 goals last term, will be one to look out for and will be a threat to the shaky Amsterdammers back line.

Ajax coach Peter Bosz tinkered with his formation midweek and experimented with a 3-5-2 in the 2-1 win over PAOK Salonika, however it expected he will revert back to 4-3-3 in this game. A young forward line may spearhead the Ajax attack as highly-rated Danish striker Kasper Dolberg is in line to make his Eredivisie debut, as is 19-year-old Colombian Mateo Cassierra, a summer signing from Deportivo Cali.

The Ajax defence over the two legs against PAOK has shown that are suspect and they will leak goals this season. New experienced German signing Heiko Westerman was in particular poor and Sparta could easily breach Jasper Cillessen’s goal. Although, I see Ajax winning this match expect Sparta to score at least one goal. Ajax to grab the win while conceding is valued at 9/4 by Betfred and I see that as the best bet in this match,

TIP: Ajax to win with Both Teams to Score (2PT placed on 3.25 at Betfred)

In addition to these tips keep an eye on Get Bet Smart’s Twitter account for their #SocialMediaExclusive tips including the very successful #DutchDouble.

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Eredivisie Team Of The Week – Round 6

Header-TeamOfTheWeek

Welcome to week six of our Eredivisie Team of the Week which leads into our Eredivisie ‘Player of the Season’ competition.  All players have performed so well this weekend that Martijn Hilhorst and Will Burns have decided they should be in our team of the week.  Each player in the eleven receives one point and whichever player is declared ‘Player of the Week’, he receives an extra point.

TeamOfTheWeek-6

GOALKEEPER

SERGIO PADT – FC GRONINGEN: Commanding performance from the young goalie in Groningen’s 2-0 win over AZ.

DEFENDERS

GURAM KASHIA – VITESSE: Clean sheet and a goal for the big Georgian leading his side to a 3-0 win over De Graafschap.

WESSEL DAMMERS – SC CAMBUUR: Formerly a striker, Big Wessel was vital in at back for Cambuur, winning 11 challenges and five headers in the 0-0 draw against FC Twente.

JOP VAN DER LINDEN – AZ ALKMAAR: His side lost 2-0 to FC Groningen and if it were not Jop, it could have been a lot worse – won three aerial battles and victorious in six tackles.

RICK KARSDORP – FEYENOORD: The young right-back picked up another assist for Michiel Kramer’s goal in Feyenoord’s disappointing 1-1 draw at Roda.

MARK-JAN FLEDDERUS – HERACLES: The left-back was a true thorn in PSV’s side with a goal in the 2-1 turnaround for Heracles.

MIDFIELDERS

HICHAM FAIK – RODA JC: Great intelligence from the young Roda midfielder to chip Kenneth Vermeer with a quick free-kick to grab a point for his side against Feyenoord.

LUCAS ANDERSEN – WILLEM II: The Ajax loanee was influential for Willem II’s first win of the season against FC Utrecht on Saturday. The young Danish midfielder is our PLAYER OF THE WEEK.

ATTACKERS

SHERALDO BECKER – PEC ZWOLLE: A great goal and a great assist from Becker as Zwolle continue their undefeated start against ADO.

AREK MILIK – AJAX: The Polish striker failed to make an impact midweek against Celtic, but made up for it this weekend, notching a goal in the 2-0 victory over Excelsior.

CHRISTIAN SANTOS – N.E.C. NIJMEGEN: The Venezuelan international notched twice in a great 2-0 win over sc Heerenveen on Friday night.

Click here to see the ‘Player of the Season’ standings.

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 6

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WEEK SIX – 18TH-20TH SEPTEMBER 2015

Feyenoord held to a draw, PSV suffer a European hangover as Ajax get back to winning ways against Excelsior writes Will Burns.

After the heroics in Europe last week, PSV fell to a 2-1 away defeat to high-flying Heracles in Almelo on Saturday evening. The hosts coach John Stegeman stated he was ‘a proud coach’ after his watched his side come back from a goal down to move top of the Eredivisie table come Saturday night.

The reigning champions gained the lead inside two minutes. Maxime Lestienne, who provided two assists in the midweek victory over Manchester United, provided another assist for Luuk de Jong. However, before half-time Heracles turned the game on its head leading 2-1 at the break. The equaliser came on 39 minutes, from a wonderful dipping strike by Mark-Jan Fledderus. The midfielder hit it just outside the area that gave Jeroen Zoet no chance of stopping. On the stroke of half-time, Thomas Bruns curled home Heracles’ second with a first-time shot from around 30 yards out.

The majority of the 12,034 inside the Polman Stadion erupted in euphoria on the full-time whistle as Heracles have now won five on the trot to make an incredible start to the season, when many had the Almelo side down as relegation contenders.

Ajax stay top of the pile after a two goal victory away to Excelsior. Frank de Boer’s men took the lead after Anwar El Ghazi scored the opening goal with a great dribble then finish just after the half hour mark. Before the half-time break, Arek Milik doubled Ajax’s score with a shot from outside the box that was too strong for goalkeeper Filip Kurto to stop. The Rotterdam side failed to trouble Jasper Cillessen in goal and Ajax controlled for the win.

In the early Sunday match, Feyenoord shared the points with Roda JC in Kerkrade in a 1-1 draw. Roda were dangerous on the counter attack, although it was the Rotterdammers that took the lead after twenty minutes of play. The 6ft 4inch Michiel Kramer notched his second goal of the campaign, nodding home a Rick Karsdorp cross. The lead did not last long as Hicham Faik took advantage of some poor placement by Kenneth Vermeer to float an easy free-kick into the net to tie the game up. The second half did not bring anymore goals.

Ron Jans’ PEC Zwolle also came from behind to maintain their undefeated start to the new campaign with a 2-1 win over ADO Den Haag. Japanese international striker Mike Havanaar put Henk Fraser’s men ahead on 35 minutes and held the lead until twenty minutes to go when Sheraldo Becker levelled the game up with a wonderful chipped effort from right-wing.

Becker then provided the ball for powerhouse striker Lars Veldwijk to surge through the Den Haag defence to score the winner. The big forward, on loan from Nottingham Forest, has now scored six goals this season after an unsuccessful campaign last year in England.

Willem II claimed a 3-1 victory at home to FC Utrecht. Erik Falkenburg nodded home a Lucas Andersen cross to open the scoring on 26 minutes and things got worse for the visitors when Sébastien Haller received a red card for kicking out at Sander van der Streek. Erik ten Hag’s team talk inspired Utrecht to level the game up within three minutes of the restart with a Nacer Barazite goal.

However, the game was not level for long, as five minutes later Utrecht left-back Louis Nganioni deflected Van der Streek’s cross into his own net. Man of the match, Lucas Andersen and Robbie Haemhouts combined to wrap up the game with twenty to go to give Willem II their first win of the season.

FC Twente are still without a permanent head coach and a win after a goal-less draw at SC Cambuur.

In Friday night’s game, N.E.C. Nijmegen claimed a 2-0 win over the struggling sc Heerenveen. Venezuelan international Christian Santos scored both goals as Dwight Lodeweges’ in feeling the pressure at Heerenveen, who have now gone five games without a win since their opening day victory over De Graafschap.

In Sunday’s final two games, Vitesse defeated De Graafschap 3-0 while FC Groningen beat AZ Alkmaar by 2-0.

The Arnhem side made short work of the Eredivisie newcomers as they lead 2-0 after just over twenty minutes of play. Georgian pair Guram Kashia and Valeri Qazaishvili notched the first two goals before 19-year-old Albanian striker Milot Rashica grabbed his first goal for the club on 73 minutes to finish the scoring.

Edwin van der Looi’s Groningen climbed into the top ten with the win over John van der Brom’s AZ. Summer signing Bryan Linssen and young substitute Mimoun Mahi grabbed the goals.

RESULTS

Friday 18th September

N.E.C. Nijmegen 2-0 sc Heerenveen

Saturday 19th September

SC Cambuur 0-0 FC Twente

Heracles 2-1 PSV

PEC Zwolle 2-1 ADO Den Haag

Willem II 3-1 FC Utrecht

Sunday 20th September

Roda JC 1-1 Feyenoord

Excelsior 0-2 Ajax

Vitesse 3-0 De Graafschap

FC Groningen 2-0 AZ Alkmaar

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EREDIVISIE REPORT: WEEK 5

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WEEK FIVE – 12TH-13TH SEPTEMBER 2015

Ajax slip up away to Twente as PSV thump Cambuur to make up some ground on the Amsterdammers – Will Burns is here with the full round-up of week five in the Eredivisie.

Ajax were forced to fight back from a two-goal deficit to earn a point away to FC Twente in Enschede on Saturday evening.

The hosts looking for their first win of the campaign took the lead after 19 minutes of play through a well worked corner between Hakim Ziyech and Felipe Gutiérrez. Ziyech forcefully hit a low pass into the area that daunted the Amsterdammers defence and the Chilean midfielder was alert to collect the ball and smash home past Jasper Cillessen.

Ajax, who host Scottish champions Celtic on Thursday night in their first Europa League group stage clash, were poor in front of goal, and were unable to grab the equaliser before Twente doubled their lead. Again from a corner, Twente caused danger in the visitor’s area and Jerson Cabral fired a shot towards goal. Ajax midfielder Nemanja Gudelj leant forward into the way of the oncoming shot and the ball ricocheted off the Serbian hand and out for another corner. However, referee Pol van Boekel spotted the handball and awarded a penalty much to Gudelj’s chagrin. The confident Ziyech stepped up and floated the spot-kick down the middle to add further insult to Cillessen after a shocking week in the internationals this past week for the goalkeeper.

Frank de Boer urged his men forward but looked to have no ‘plan B’ and rarely threatened Twente goalkeeper Joël Drommel with long range drives. The young stopper, aged only 18, was making his first professional start in Dutch football.

Looking at his side’s lacklustre display in front of goal, De Boer replaced Arek Milik for young Dane Viktor Fischer and within minutes of being on the field, Ajax had a goal back. Midfielder Riechedly Bazoer spotted Fischer’s run into the area and lofted a wonderful ball over the top of the Twente defence. The Danish international ran on and hit a wonderful first time side-footed sliding volley into the corner of Drommel’s goal as the keeper was forced to be just an onlooker.  It was 2-1 after 65 minutes and Ajax had gained some confidence which kept Twente in their own half for the majority of the remainder.

As time drew on however, Drommel’s dream debut turned into a nightmare. Another substitute Yaya Sanogo, who had been very vocal midweek about the lack of action he is seeing at Ajax, ran through away from goal and after the ball looked dead, Drommel stretched out and brought the Frenchman down in the area. Van Boekel pointed to the spot and Gudelj made amends for his earlier error and levelled the game up with ten minutes to go. It was a poor performance from De Boer’s men who will have to vastly improved midweek as they start their Europa League venture.

Defending champions PSV Eindhoven demolished ten-man SC Cambuur with a six goal thumping which lifts Phillip Cocu’s men up to fourth in the table. After a poor display against Vitesse before the international break, Cambuur goalkeeper Leonard Nienhuis was dropped to the bench for Harm Zeinstra by coach Henk de Jong. Zeinstra, unfortunately for him, was dropped into a baptism of fire as Cocu’s men were ruthless in front of goal, in particular Luuk de Jong.

The opening goal came with controversy which resulted in Cambuur having to deal with having only ten men on the pitch after just eight minutes. Mexican midfielder Andrés Guardado shot from the edge of the area after Zeinstra had made a good save from a De Jong effort and referee Kevin Blom had adjudged that Sander van de Streek had blocked the Mexican’s effort with his hand. Van de Streek protested but Blom pointed to the spot and dished out the red card to the Cambuur defender. Video replays were indecisive but De Jong coolly stepped up and sent Zeinstra the wrong way to give PSV the 1-0 advantage.

Three minutes later, De Jong grabbed his second goal to make it 2-0. After some great combination passing from Guardado and Maxime Lestienne on the left wing, it resulted in the Belgian whipping a cross over for the big striker to easily power through the aerial challenge of Vytautas Andriuškevičius and double PSV’s lead.

De Jong claimed his hat-trick before half-time tapping home after Zeinstra had blocked Luciano Narsingh’s effort which fell into the striker feet before crossing the line. The game was over for Cambuur at the half-time whistle, the question left in the match was how many were PSV going to win by?

Davy Pröpper notched his first goal for club on 56 minutes after right-back Santiago Arias found some space on the right to pull the ball back into the midfielder’s path on the edge of the area. Philip Cocu and Jürgen Locadia seemed to have patched things up as the young forward scored the final two goals after coming on mid-way through the second half. He hit a powerful low free-kick on 74 minutes and nodded home an excellent cross from Arias with just a minute to go to complete the scoring.

Even with the man advantage it was an impressive display from the PSV ahead of beginning life in the Champions’ League group stages, their first appearance since 2008. Hosting Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United along with keeping former star Memphis Depay at bay is their first task to meet head on this coming Tuesday night.

On Sunday, Feyenoord escaped with a narrow 1-0 win over Willem II at De Kuip. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side failed to breach Kostas Lamprou’s goal until Eljero Elia notched a 67th minute winner just minutes after replacing Bilal Başaçıkoğlu as a substitute.

De Jong’s hat-trick was the only treble on Saturday night as Lars Veldwijk scored all three of PEC Zwolle’s  goals against Excelsior in a 3-0 win that keeps Ron Jans’ side undefeated this season. It could have been an even bigger win if Excelsior stopper Filip Kurto had not kept out a Stef Nijland penalty late on. The Rotterdam side lost their discipline deep into the second half seeing two red cards shown to Sander Fischer and Tom van Weert which may hurt their hopes next week against Ajax.

AZ Alkmaar gained their first win of the season in a 3-1 away win at rock bottom De Graafschap who still awaits their first points of the campaign. Serbian defender Rajko Brežančić notched AZ’s first on his debut after a wicked deflection off De Graafschap’s Robin Pröpper floated the ball over keeper Hidde Jurjus. The hosts pulled level just before half-time through an excellent goal from Nathaniel Will, but a quick fire double from Norwegian midfielder Markus Henriksen handed AZ the victory and hopefully a turning point for coach John van der Brom to build on.

FC Groningen romped to a great 3-1 home win over Dwight Lodeweges’ sc Heerenveen. Danny Hoesen gave the hosts a first minute lead and Bryan Linssen made it 2-0 after 16 minutes. Swedish midfielder Simon Thern gave Heerenveen a lifeline with twenty minutes remaning but Mimoun Mahi made the points secure before the whistle.

High-flying Heracles are still in second place after a narrow 1-0 win away to ADO Den Haag thanks to a Wout Weghorst goal, his fourth of the season.

FC Utrecht climb up to seventh after an impressive 2-1 win over Vitesse on Sunday afternoon. Willem Janssen gave Utrecht the lead before Guram Kashia grabbed an equaliser four minutes later for the Arnhem outfit. Peter Bosz side pressed for the winning goal but Bart Ramselaar cemented the points for Utrecht early in the second half.

In a battle of the newly promoted sides, Roda JC drew 0-0 with N.E.C. Nijmegen on Saturday evening.

RESULTS

Saturday 12th September

De Graafschap 1-3 AZ Alkmaar

Roda JC 0-0 N.E.C. Nijmegen

FC Twente 2-2 Ajax

SC Cambuur 0-6 PSV

PEC Zwolle 3-0 Excelsior

Sunday 13th September

FC Groningen 3-1 sc Heerenveen

Feyenoord 1-0 Willem II

ADO Den Haag 0-1 Heracles

FC Utrecht 2-1 Vitesse

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