Feyenoord knock Ajax and sniff title – PSV and AZ make strides
Overjoyed Feyenoord supporters welcome players’ bus after win at Ajax
With images of overjoyed Feyenoord fans welcoming the leader’s player bus in Rotterdam, we conclude this blog.
Thanks for following and until next time!
Overjoyed Feyenoord supporters welcome players’ bus after win at Ajax
Flekken incurs equalizer in closing seconds
Goalkeeper Mark Flekken will undoubtedly report to the Dutch national team on Monday feeling disappointed. The SC Freiburg goalkeeper had to concede the equalizer in the final seconds of the German league match against FSV Mainz 05: 1-1. The indicated 5 minutes of injury time had already elapsed when Karim Onisiwo shot the 1-1 past Flekken after a through ball.
With Bart Verbruggen, also selected for Oranje, on goal, Anderlecht, AZ’s upcoming opponent in the Conference League quarterfinals, won the away match against OH Leuven 2-0 in the Belgian soccer competition.
TWE-AZ | 83′ Meerdink close.
Debutant Meerdink is close to the equalizer, but Julio Pleguezuelo slides in front of it and prevents the AZ talent’s effort from reaching the Twente goal. Moments later, Meerdink does find the net with a lob, but is offside.
TWE-AZ | 60′ Eredivisie debut Mexx Meerdink
TWE-AZ | 54′ Ryan under shot
All hands on deck at AZ. Salah-Eddine and Van Wolfswinkel fire at the AZ goal, but goalkeeper Ryan saves. A cross from Vlap goes over.
Can AZ turn the tide in the second half? Ugalde, the man of the two goals, cannot continue after all and does not return. Virgil Misidjan is his replacement. At AZ, Goes makes way for Beukema.
TWE-AZ | Rest in Enschede
It’s halftime in Enschede, where AZ is in trouble. Thanks to two goals by Manfred Ugalde, FC Twente leads 2-0. The 20-year-old striker from Costa Rica seemed to have to give up the fight with a serious injury five minutes before halftime after a tackle by Jordy Clasie, but Ugalde simply returned to the field.
Half-time score: FC Twente-AZ 2-0
Lazio wins heated Roman derby with five red cards, Napoli thunders through
Lazio prevailed in Serie A in an as always fraught Derby della Capitale won 1-0 against AS Roma. As a result, Lazio is provisionally second in Serie A, pending the result of Internazionale-Juventus later tonight.
Napoli maintained their street-length lead with a 4-0 win at Torino.
TWE-AZ | 30′ Ugalde misses chance for hat-trick
Ugalde may be in top form, but he did not manage a hat-trick within half an hour. After a cross from Brenet, he was completely free to bang in the 3-0, but the striker from Costa Rica shot high over.
Ten Hag with United in FA Cup semifinals after three reds for Fulham
Manchester United followed Manchester City, Sheffield United and Brighton & Hove Albion in qualifying for the semifinals of the FA Cup. Against Fulham, coach Erik ten Hag’s team struggled to recover from a deficit to a 3-1 win.
TWE-AZ | 25′ Bang from Reijnders
Through Tijjani Reijnders, AZ makes themselves heard after the disastrous start for the Alkmaarders. The midfielder nips at goal, but Twente goalkeeper Lars Unnerstall works the ball out of the goal with a good reflex.
TWE-AZ | Ugalde in top form
Manfred Ugalde scored 5 premier league goals in the month of March. In the 5 biggest European leagues as well as the premier league, only Loïs Openda on behalf of RC Lens was just as successful this month. The striker from Costa Rica scored 2 goals for the second round in a row. Last week he scored twice on a visit to Fortuna Sittard (0-3).
The ball is rolling in Enschede, where FC Twente and AZ conclude the 26th round of play in the premier league. With a win, AZ is the new number two.
Feyenoord welcomed by supporters with fireworks in Rotterdam
Thousands of supporters welcomed the Feyenoord players with fireworks in Rotterdam after the Klassieker won at the Johan Cruijff Arena. For the first time since 2005, Feyenoord triumphed in Amsterdam: 2-3. Coach Arne Slot’s team closed a six-point gap with Ajax at the top of the league table.
The players’ bus returned to training complex 1908 in the early evening. There, thousands of supporters had gathered. They set off fireworks and torches when the bus arrived. Earlier in the day, some supporters had already jumped into the fountain at Hofplein, near Coolsingel, to celebrate the victory over Ajax.
Eight games before the end of the league, Feyenoord has the best papers to become champions. The Rotterdammers’ last title dates back to 2017.
A look at the standings in the premier league
The 26th round of play is not over yet, because at 8 p.m. AZ still takes on FC Twente in Enschede. With a win, the Alkmaarders can be the number two of the Netherlands again.
VIT-PSV | 90’+2 Also Obispo injured
Obispo just got in, but is already going to the side with an injury. Boscagli is his replacement in the 92nd minute. The fourth man just gave three minutes of extra time to …
VIT-PSV | 84′ Rentree Hazard
PSV will take risks in the closing stages, as Thorgan Hazard is ready along the line. He comes in for defender Ramalho. Winter acquisition Hazard was injured in the cup game with FC Groningen on Feb. 11 in the closing stages and is making his return.
PSV goes into the final minutes with four strikers.
VIT-PSV | 78′ Arcus pokes into the side netting
PSV can move alongside Ajax in the league table if they win, but Ruud van Nistelrooij’s team doesn’t seem to realize that. Indeed, the best chances were for Vitesse in the final minutes. The biggest was just for Arcus, who was sent away by Meulensteen with a fine pass.
The Haitian pokes the ball into the side netting, the ball even seeming to graze the outside of the post.
VIT-PSV | 67′ Injuries on both sides
It is a low tempo match and it is precisely then that muscle injuries lurk. This is also apparent now, as PSV’s Branthwaite has to go to the side injured and Vitesse’s Kozlowski. Obispo and Vidovic are the replacements.
Immediately after the substitutions, Melle Meulensteen shoots the ball just wide of the PSV goal via an opponent.
VIT-PSV | 61′ GOAL VITESSE
PSV fails to run out against Vitesse and gets the lid on the nose. Van Ginkel extended a free kick and it disappeared through Sangaré’s chest into the goal: 1-1. The free kick came about because Sangaré defended far too casually and Van Aanholt had to pull the emergency brake.
A bad minute for the Ivorian in short. And suddenly the Vitesse crowd believed in it again.
VIT-PSV | 57′ How can you miss it?
Things haven’t really been going well for Luuk de Jong this season in terms of scoring goals. How this chance does not lead to a goal, he will also ask himself. From a corner, the ball lands on De Jong’s upper leg, but he sees it bounce past the goal from half a meter out.
VIT-PSV | 52′ De Jong shoots just wide
The first threatening moment in the second half in Arnhem came from Luuk de Jong. The striker turns away from his opponent just over the halfway line, chooses not to pass the ball to Simons and shoots himself. And that shot is not bad at all, but goes just wide.
Six points behind Ajax ‘a lot’, but Heitinga does not give up
Whether the title battle is decided in the premier league ? Ajacied Steven Berghuis won’t say. “But that it will become more difficult is one thing that is certain.”
Feyenoord fought back from a deficit for the umpteenth time this season, this time at the Johan Cruijff Arena, winning 3-2 in Amsterdam through a late goal by Lutsharel Geertruida. The gap between the leaders and Ajax is now six points.
“This one does arrive,” Ajax coach John Heitinga said after the match. But is it also over? “No, absolutely not. I am the last one who will give up. There are enough matches, enough points to share, until the end we will fight. We will have to hunt again. And that is the reality.”
With indeed Bakayoko for El Ghazi, PSV will start the second half in Arnhem against Vitesse. Whether that is a weakening remains to be seen: the Belgian Bakayoko has accounted for three goals and two assists in the last five games.
Kökçü finished with Amsterdam swagger: ‘In pure emotion you sometimes shout things’
‘No words, but deeds’ has long been Feyenoord’s adage. That was demonstrated once again at the Johan Cruijff Arena, where the Rotterdammers thumped Ajax in the title race by winning the Klassieker 3-2.
Feyenoord entered the match taunted, after Ajax coach John Heitinga had labeled his team favorites last week.
Captain Orkun Kökçü made his annoyance with the Amsterdam bravado clear in front of ESPN’s cameras immediately after the win: “Personally, I was a little done with them thinking they are the best. They talk a lot before the game, but the way we are in it with Feyenoord: no words, but deeds. And we showed that again today.”
A few minutes later, when the adrenaline had subsided a bit, Kökçü reacted a lot calmer: “That was right after the match, still in pure emotion. Then you sometimes shout things.”
Minor arrested on suspicion of beating Jetro Willems (FC Groningen)
A boy suspected of hitting soccer player Jetro Willems has been arrested in Groningen. The FC Groningen defender was slapped by a supporter in the closing stages of the lost match against sc Heerenveen.
In addition to the minor, a man was also arrested during the game. He too is suspected of assault by the police. The pair were taken to the police station for questioning. Further details about the two suspects were not disclosed.
Watch reactions from Willems, trainer Dennis van der Ree and general manager Wouter Gudde below.
VIT-PSV | 34′ Manhoef almost escapes
After Simons’ 1-0, PSV did take a lot of gas. Not that Vitesse creates a lot now, but it has been threatening a few times with a quick switch. The best chance was just for again Manhoef, who fought a sprint duel with Patrick van Aanholt on his way to goal.
The defender won the duel on points: just before Manhoef can strike, he takes the ball away from his feet with a slide. PSV has been warned though!
VIT-PSV | Reunion in Gelredome
Vitesse-PSV is, of course, another match full of cross-connections. Or, if you will, a reunion. Vitesse coach Phillip Cocu and assistant Chris van der Weerden have a past at both clubs, as do Marco van Ginkel and the injured Davy Pröpper.
At PSV, former Vitesse coach Fred Rutten sits on the bench as assistant and we see Patrick van Aanholt at left back. Armando Obispo is on the bench.
AJA-FEY | 38′ Ajax leads, but Bassey struggles
The goal was a bit imminent, as Bergwijn also had a giant chance just a moment ago. Twice, however, he shot the ball at goalkeeper Wellenreuther and afterwards he also appeared to have been a fraction offside. Although, the footage does not show that.
Feyenoord didn’t create much more, but still had some chances. This is mainly because Calvin Bassey is definitely not comfortable in the match and makes quite a few mistakes.
AJA-FEY | 15′ Murderous pace
After the explosive opening stages, in which Feyenoord took the lead through Gimenez and Hartman received the first yellow card of the match, things have not been calm for a moment in the Arena. We haven’t seen any real chances since the 1-0, but just now we did see a dangerous free kick from Berghuis go wide.
The pace has been murderous so far.
GRO-HEE | Match Stopped
‘Shame on you,’ sounds from the stands at Euroborg. But the harm has already been done in the corner of the stadium. After first a supporter tried to enter the field, the anger then turns to the own players. And so arbiter Gözübüyük is left with nothing but to send both teams inside.
The match is (temporarily) stopped. And that is unfortunately not for the first time in Groningen.
FC Groningen-sc Heerenveen 0-2
GRO-HEE | 80′ Game is at a standstill, supporters at fist with own players
The match started with such a nice atmosphere action from the Groningen fans, but now a few miscreants show their worst side again. A Groningen supporter tries to enter the field, but can be stopped by security.
But in the corner of the field it remains restless. When Jetro Willems goes over to calm things down, he even gets slapped. The match is stopped, what a sad spectacle.
FC Groningen-sc Heerenveen 0-2
AJA-FEY | Lineup Ajax: Sánchez in place of injured Rensch
Ajax coach John Heitinga has made one forced change to his starting lineup, compared to last week’s away game with sc Heerenveen.
Devyne Rensch is injured. His place at right back will be taken over by Jorge Sánchez.
The midfield once again consists of Kenneth Taylor, Edson Álvarez and Steven Berghuis. Davy Klaassen is on the bench.
GRO-HEE | 40′ GOAL HEERENVEEN
Again Van Hooijdonk is in the right place for a rebound on a Van Amersfoort effort allowed by goalkeeper Verrips. And so it is 2-0 for Heerenveen in a game in which Groningen was the better side for a long time.
This is also unfortunate for Blokzijl, because with an ultimate tackle he prevented Van Amersfoort from shooting completely free in front of goalkeeper Verrips.
FC Groningen-sc Heerenveen 0-2
Groningen coach Van der Ree: ‘Players just informed about Lukkien’
Groningen coach Dennis van der Ree will thus have to make way for Dick Lukkien. “I knew for a long time that they were working on it,” the coach told ESPN. “That did hurt a little bit yes.”
What it means for him? “I will bring that out in the next few days.” Remarkably, the news leaked out this morning, although Groningen and Emmen had made an agreement that it could only be announced after the weekend. Van der Ree’s preparation for the game with Heerenveen was disrupted as a result. “The players and staff were not yet informed, so I just briefed them. Some players just gave me a hug. It could also be an advantage.”
Emmen coach Lukkien to join FC Groningen in summer
Coach Dick Lukkien is leaving FC Emmen for FC Groningen after this season. Wouter Gudde, FC Groningen’s general manager, just confirmed in front of ESPN’s camera that the transition is “99 percent complete.”
The 50-year-old Groninger succeeds Dennis van der Ree, who took over from the fired Frank Wormuth in December. Lukkien has been coach of Emmen since 2016 and made history with the club in 2018 by winning promotion to the premier league for the first time.
Emmen relegated in 2021 but promoted again last season. Lukkien also worked in Groningen from 2010 to 2016. He was trainer of the pledge team there and later assistant coach. FC Emmen and FC Groningen are both fighting relegation this season.
Resilient Feyenoord often behind: ‘That does stick to us a bit’
It seems like nice records. Feyenoord took the most points this season of any club in the Eredivisie after falling behind and also often struck with goals in the closing stages.
However, it also says that the leaders do fall behind very often and have to fight for points until the end.
Before the start of the 26th playing round of the Eredivisie, in which frontrunner Feyenoord plays today against pursuer Ajax, NOS delved into the figures from statistics agency Opta. Rotterdammers fell behind in no fewer than ten games this season. A painful observation, coach Arne Slot agrees.
“That is a shortcoming that we would like to get out of our game. We try everything to avoid going behind and actually I think we do that as well. We give away very few chances and have the ball a lot ourselves.”
Ajax coach Heitinga too confident? ‘So was he as a 17-year-old debutant’
“Of course we are the favorite.”
Almost as a matter of course, Ajax coach John Heitinga spoke those words about the Klassieker, which will be played at the Johan Cruijff Arena this afternoon (2:30 p.m.). That the visiting Feyenoord is the frontrunner in the Eredivisie and is currently running like hell while Ajax is playing a disappointing season for the time being does little to dampen his confidence.
Misplaced arrogance they find in most of Holland, logical thinks former teammate Richard Knopper, who now runs his own soccer school. “That’s Ajax, isn’t it. With that comes a certain arrogance. The club’s slogan reads: We are Ajax, we are the best. That’s not for nothing. Everybody is expressing that.”