PSV still can’t make trouble against Sevilla: 0-0 – Later: Union-Ajax
PSV-SEV | 48′ Great chance Sevilla
In the 48th minute, there is the first big chance for Sevilla: Bryan Gil finds En-Nesyri with a clever pass, but he bumps into the excellent responding goalkeeper Benítez.
Moments later, there is some threat from PSV as the Sevilla defense begins to fumble, but a chance fails to materialize due to offside by De Jong.
The ball rolls for the second half. Both teams are unchanged.
Juventus are in good shape at Nantes: the Italians lead 2-0 through two goals by Dí María (including a penalty) and the French are playing with ten men after a red card for Pallois. First game: 1-1.
Bayer Leverkusen leads 2-1 at AS Monaco, after a 2-3 in the first game. And Sporting Portugal leads 1-0 at FC Midtjylland, after last week’s 1-1.
PSV-SEV | Rest in Eindhoven
A modest whistling concert sounds as PSV and Sevilla seek the locker rooms for halftime.
One thing has become clear: things will have to be different in the second half if PSV wants to pull another miracle out of the top hat.
PSV-SEV | Sevilla Checks
It’s almost halftime and we still haven’t seen a real chance for PSV. A goal before halftime, that could give the Eindhoven citizens some courage, but it’s really not in the cards for now.
Sevilla controlled the game and dealt the occasional pinprick, without actually becoming dangerous. Not a feast for the neutral spectator all in all.
Having said that, there was a sort of possibility of a chance for PSV: De Jong heads through in the sixteen-meter area to Til, but he does not manage to get the ball towards goal.
PSV-SEV | 30′ Lingering Throw-in.
To achieve a so-called remontada, PSV will have to draw from a different keg. The team plays cautiously and has hardly been dangerous in the first half hour. Sevilla has things reasonably under control.
And then there is some turmoil: Sevilla dawdles tremendously when taking a throw-in and then complains about a cup of beer being thrown from the crowd. After the necessary grumbling, Acuña again waits a very long time to take the throw-in, which earns him a yellow card from Italian referee Daniele Orsato.
Record international Ramos no longer needed with Spain: ‘Soccer not always fair’
Sergio Ramos (36) is, of necessity, ending his international career with the Spanish national team with immediate effect. The Paris Saint-Germain defender made this known in an emotional speech on Twitter, in which he made it clear that it was not his own choice, but that of the new national coach Luis de la Fuente.
Ramos played no less than 180 international matches for Spain and won three major awards with his country, the European Championship in 2008, the World Cup in 2010 and the European Championship in 2012.
PSV-SEV | 18′ First goal attempt Sevilla
After fifteen minutes of play, Sevilla also have their first serious goal attempt to grab. A free kick by Telles ends up in the roof of the goal, but otherwise would have been within reach of goalkeeper Benítez.
It’s not yet whirlwind what PSV is showing. Three goals (at least) are needed.
Goals on the other fields
Where PSV hoped(ed) for a quick opening goal, Juventus and Bayer Leverkusen succeeded.
Juve made it 1-0 at FC Nantes through a fine goal by Dí María. First game: 1-1.
Bayer leads at Monaco through a goal by Wirtz. First match: 3-2 for Monaco.
PSV-SEV | 8′ Two half-chances.
The Eindhoven crowd sees a miracle and enthusiastically encourages the home team, hoping for an early goal.
PSV attacks thoughtfully, and in the early stages this produced a harmless header from De Jong and a shooting opportunity from Til.
PSV-SEV | Kickoff in Eindhoven
The ball is rolling in Eindhoven! PSV has an hour and a half to make up for a 3-0 deficit against Sevilla.
Willems signs with relegation candidate FC Groningen
Jetro Willems has signed a contract until the end of the season with FC Groningen. The 28-year-old left back has been training for a week with the relegation-challenged Premier League side.
The 28-year-old Willems, who played his 22nd and last international in 2016, did not have a club this season. He played last season for SpVgg Greuther Fürth in the German league. Previously, he was active with Sparta, PSV, Eintracht Frankfurt and Newcastle United.
The 6:45 p.m. matches
What PSV faces is well known. But there are three more matches at 6:45 pm.
AS Monaco hosts Bayer Leverkusen, with Jeremie Frimpong and Mitchel Bakker in the starting lineup. Monaco, with Myron Boadu on the bench, won the first game 3-2.
FC Nantes and Juventus played to a 1-1 draw last week. And so did FC Midtjylland-Sporting Portugal. For the Portuguese, Jemeriah St. Juste is in the starting lineup.
Nemanja Gudelj is missing at Sevilla. The former player of NAC Breda, AZ and Ajax, who scored against PSV last week, is suspended. Former Ajax player Lucas Ocampos, who also scored against PSV, is on the bench in Eindhoven. Furthermore, Loïc Badé is injured.
34-year-old Croatian midfielder Ivan Rakitic leads Sevilla’s midfield, which is in 12th place in the Spanish league.
Update: goalkeeper Bono dropped out at the last minute and was replaced by Marko Dmitrovic.
PSV will start the home match against Sevilla without Ibrahim Sangaré. The midfielder is not yet ready to play an entire match. Sangaré missed Sunday’s away game against FC Utrecht (2-2) because he was sick. He does sit on the reserve bench.
Phillipp Mwene is preferred at right back to Jordan Teze, who was still a base player against Utrecht. Central defender Armando Obispo also lost his spot, to André Ramalho.
In midfield, coach Ruud van Nistelrooij is also making a change. Erick Gutiérrez is in the squad and Mauro Júnior is on the bench. The forwards, with Johan Bakayoko, captain Luuk de Jong and Xavi Simons, are unchanged, though.
The remarkable resurrection of Ajax exile and PSV tormentor Ocampos
Sevilla player Lucas Ocampos was PSV’s great tormentor last week. With a Dennis Bergkamp-like goal and an assist with the heel, he had a big part in the Eindhoven players’ 3-0 defeat in Spain.
His goal was the Argentine’s first since April 2022. In his six months at Ajax, Ocampos was only sporadically in action.
“This match I really needed. I was eager to score,” Ocampos told any journalist who would hear last week. “I really enjoyed this night.”
Kolk was shocked at Union Berlin: “What is this! Now he knows better
Every now and then, former soccer player Santi Kolk catches himself humming a Nina Hagen song. The melody of ‘Eisern Union’, the club song of Union Berlin, is still in his head somewhere even more than a decade after he played there.
But it is not only nostalgic feelings that then come to Kolk’s mind, not only the fond memories of his matches at the Stadion An der Alten Försterei or of his goal against city rival Hertha BSC.
What he also seems to feel is regret. “When I see them play now, I think: they’ve done it. And I contributed nothing to it.”
Investigation into Spanish cup match due to match-fixing
Spanish authorities are investigating a suspected December 2021 cup match. Levante’s duel with fifth-divisionist Huracan Melilla then ended 8-0.
The Spanish soccer organization La Liga has now received an anonymous tip about the match. There was possibly match-fixing involved. La Liga called in the police after receiving the tip, after which the investigation was launched.
Atlético striker Morata wants crackdown on racist fans in Spain
Atlético Madrid striker Álvaro Morata wants racist soccer fans to be dealt with much more harshly in Spain. The 30-year-old Spaniard wants the Spanish league to immediately move to handing out a lifetime stadium ban if someone is guilty of a racist utterance.
“We should take the Premier League as an example. The first time someone does something like that in the stadium, they should be banned for life. It is unacceptable and cannot be explained,” Morata told sports channel ESPN ahead of the city derby against Real Madrid.
Saturday’s away match against the rival is especially fraught because of the racist comments Real player Vinícius Júnior has regularly received this season, including from Atlético supporters. “It has no place in soccer,” Morata believes.
La Liga has already been regularly criticized for its weak crackdown on perpetrators of racist misconduct. Vinícius also previously angered this. The Spanish league organizer announced Wednesday that it had filed three more reports of racism during a match, with Vinícius being the victim twice. Just last weekend, an as-yet-unknown Osasuna fan misbehaved toward the Brazilian Vinícius.
Heitinga did not train on penalties with Ajax: ‘Best players take penalties’
Ajax can qualify for the eighth finals of the Europa League with a win tonight. In the characteristic Stadion An der alten Försterei, the stiff Union Berlin is the opponent.
It was anything but scintillating what Ajax put on the mat in their own Johan Cruijff Arena last week. Ajax got away with a scoreless draw at the Johan Cruijff Arena (0-0). Coach John Heitinga’s team did not fire a single shot on goal in the entire match.
Heitinga did not prepare Ajax for penalty kicks in Berlin after the scoreless draw in Amsterdam: “I have not been thinking about it. I assume there will be no penalties. Best players will take it. And the goalkeepers will still get information from goalkeeper trainer Anton Scheutjens.”
Timber and Heitinga for return against Union: ‘It should definitely be different’
Van Nistelrooij acknowledges PSV mega-hit: ‘Maybe play trick like Netherlands-Argentina’
PSV faces a mega task in Eindhoven. But coach Ruud van Nistelrooij does believe in a miracle. “According to the statistics and also without the statistics we need it,” the coach said.
“You have to be good and focused,” said the Brabander, who was satisfied with the first half in Sevilla despite the thick defeat. “That was our best half of the season. We tapped that level, but now we have to keep it longer. That’s what I call development.”
Van Nistelrooij hopes that PSV will still have sight of a desired result in the last half hour of the match. “Then maybe you can still play some tricks, as we saw for example with Netherlands-Argentina at the World Cup.”
Van Nistelrooij back on training pitch and believes in miracle of Eindhoven
Heitinga back in Berlin, where he had little success
The city of Berlin is familiar territory for Ajax coach John Heitinga. He played one – disappointing – season there on the staff of Hertha BSC, the better-known brother of Ajax rivals Union.
Heitinga had big plans when he moved to Berlin in 2014. With good performances, he wanted to force a return to the Oranje after missing that summer’s World Cup.
“To be clear: Hertha BSC is now absolutely priority No. 1. Here I have to perform. I am 30 years old and really have a few good years ahead of me. Orange is always on your mind. That’s logical, isn’t it?” he let slip in the fall of 2014.
Falling and getting up
But things soon go wrong in Germany. Heitinga gets injured and loses his starting place. “John can’t really find his feet, it’s a bit of trial and error. Sometimes you have to make choices and this time they work out negatively for him,” said his Dutch coach Jos Luhukay.
In the end, Heitinga does not make it past thirteen games in the Bundesliga in the 2014/2015 season and only narrowly avoids relegation with his team.
To top it off, at the end of the season he is told to look for another club.
That club becomes Ajax, where the defender also disappoints badly and puts a stop to his career in the middle of the season. But in Amsterdam, he then took the first steps in his coaching career.
Welcome to the Europa League!
PSV and Ajax will be in action tonight in the Europa League’s intermediate round, aiming for a ticket to the eighth finals. Feyenoord are already qualified for that.
PSV host Sevilla at 6:45 p.m. and face a tough task after last week’s 3-0 defeat.
At 9 p.m. is the kickoff of Union Berlin-Ajax, a match that ended last week as it began: 0-0.