Relegation monster sneaks into Arnhem – Europe beckons for RKC – Drama Cambuur
Five premier league games today.
We’re calling it quits here in Waalwijk. It was another eventful night of soccer, with plenty to read and watch back.
Another brand new blog tomorrow, covering Sunday’s playoff round 27. Take a quick look at the schedule below, including Ajax and Feyenoord.
NEC-PSV | Still just Tannane vs. De Jong
RKC-VIT | Middle fingers and cheers for own players
Look at the middle fingers, the disposable gestures, the shouting and the cheering. The Vitesse players undergo it humbly, after the defeat against RKC. Being a Vitesse fan is no fun for a while, neither is playing soccer for Vitesse. The worries in Arnhem are great.
Little is spared Vitesse this season. They lose on a visit to RKC.
Vitesse faces an uphill battle against nacompetition. RKC climb to spot eight, three points behind a position that entitles them to playoffs for the Conference League.
RKC-VIT | 81′ Zombies Seuntjens and Kramer
For a moment, Seuntjens and Kramer short-circuit. They defend along and even stand on their own goal line. When suddenly a ball comes bouncing in, they stand and watch like two zombies, waiting, until it bounces against their knees and bounces over the back line.
They look at each other, laugh for a moment and breathe a sigh of relief.
RKC-VIT | 64′ Vitesse forcefully increases tempo a bit
Quiz question: in which area is Vitesse doing worse, administratively/financially or athletically?
Vitesse narrowly reached an agreement with their landlord in a nerve-wracking week to avoid being evicted from their own house. And then came reports that former Chelsea boss Abramovich had secretly financed Vitesse.
Cocu wasn’t worried about that lease, sure, and was happy to get back to talking about soccer. But things aren’t exactly going well there either. Certainly not if it now loses to RKC (the score is still 1-0), because then it will be equal in points with FC Emmen and Excelsior, with whom it will be fighting not to end up on place sixteen, the place that would mean the second division.
Vitesse feels that too and therefore they attack bravely, as far as they can. Because they don’t get huge chances.
NEC-PSV | Summary and reactions
It was a soccer night to savour in Nijmegen. PSV won, actually already in the first half, but Tannane gave Nijmegen color.
PSV wins 4-2 and is second in the premier league for a while.
CAM-EMM | 90+2′ Goal Emmen!
Poor, poor Cambuur. It is going to lose and relegation is now very close. We must take back our earlier words: there is no hope for Leeuwarden.
The Frisian fans are dripping after they get the 2-1 against deep in injury time. A dastardly header by Veldmate. But one with major consequences. The gap with the spot for nacompetition to avoid direct relegation is now eight points.
Meanwhile, Emmen climbed out of the relegation zone because of this goal. On goal difference it is fifteenth, better than Excelsior.
There is no shortage of drama when Oussama Tannane is on the pitch. Unmercifully he pokes a free kick into the crossbar for 2-4 – Drommel does not know what is happening to him – and Tannane immediately asks for a substitution, because his calf hurts too much. What delicious drama.
CAM-EMM | 78′ Goal Emmen!
The Leeuwarden hopes are already dashed, as El Messaoudi places the 1-1 in the corner from the edge of the sixteen. Cambuur can start again.
RKC-VIT | 33′ Seuntjens? Zo zo
Thought you had seen it all, suddenly Mats Seuntjens throws out an akka. Seuntjens, the Brabant Ronaldinho.
Moments later, RKC tapped like the Brabant ‘Barça’ through the Vitesse defense and Jozefzoon calmly finished. Unfortunately the goal doesn’t count, it was offside. Once again, VAR helps kill a good story.
CAM-EMM | 68′ Goal Cambuur!
Leeuwarden is going crazy! This could just be a very important goal for the home team. Paulissen puts the number last of the premier league in a 1-0 lead.
Cambuur is now virtually out of last place and – if it stays that way – is only two points behind Emmen, which as number 16 is entitled to nacompetition and would not be directly relegated.
There is hope in Leeuwarden.
Michiel ‘mister sandwich croquette’ Kramer puts RKC into a deserved 1-0 lead. A nick, which he doesn’t hit well, but who cares. The dribble by Mats Seuntjens is a nice assist by the way.
Pretty little succeeds at NEC tonight, but this is a very good shot by Tannane. He cuts inside to his left leg and finds the top corner.
The shot is hard, but Drommel doesn’t go completely clear here anyway. Surprised in the short corner, though it was a rocket.
EXC-TWE | Summary and reactions.
It took VAR a very long time, but there is white smoke: De Jong’s goal counts. The PSV striker was just behind the ball when Van Aanholt crossed.
If it wasn’t already decided, it is now: 4-0 for the visitors.
In Waalwijk, the final match of this soccer Saturday started between RKC and Vitesse.
AZ-HEE | Summary and reactions
NEC-PSV | 45+3′ Rest in Nijmegen
Rest in Nijmegen too, and it was needed. Referee Edwin van de Graaf threatened to lose control for a moment – perhaps it had already happened – when here and there riots broke out. De Jong could drink Tannane’s blood. And in the tumult that ensued, Til and Sandler seemed to have ended up in a kind of haattango.
Nothing to do with soccer, but entertaining it was. High time for a calming cup of tea.
CAM-EMM | Halfway in Leeuwarden
At Cambuur and Emmen it is still 0-0 at halftime. That is not very surprising: both teams have the worst forwards in the premier league.
Biggest chance for 1-0 was from Veendorp, his pounder landed on the post.
Blunder heralds Tuchel’s dream debut at Bayern, which knocks Dortmund out of No. 1 spot
It was the worst thing that could have happened to Gregor Kobel, at the worst possible time for his club Borussia Dortmund.
The goalkeeper wanted to gram away a ball coming from opponent Dayot Upamecano, but completely mowed it down. And so Bayern Munich virtually took over the lead in the Bundesliga, thanks to a goal from their own half that went around the world. At 4-2, Dortmund got off graciously, but lost the first spot.
And there is already the third for PSV. An attack as beautiful as it was simply played out ends with Joey Veerman’s slider. And that in an away game.
Of the last eight away games, PSV only won two. Things must be going crazy for PSV to give this away. Anyway, we can’t rule anything out about the Eindhoven players this season.
With some luck here and there, Excelsior got a point out of the game with Twente. The big hero on the Rotterdammers’ side? Goalkeeper and captain Van Gassel.
Boscagli scores! After long injury, the central defender is back in the starting lineup at PSV. He just kicks in the 0-2.
The Frenchman doesn’t keep it dry. Tears of joy that he is a soccer player again.
EXC-TWE | 75′ Ramadan break in Rotterdam
The sun has set and so referee Perez halts the game so the players participating in Ramadan can take a break to eat and drink. It is the first time this has happened in the premier league.
El Yaakoubi, Driouech and Zerrouki, among others, take some sips of water and eat a candy bar.
NEC-PSV | 13′ Ramadan break Nijmegen
Ramadan in the premier league: the sun has set, so drinking and eating is allowed again
The sun has also set in Nijmegen and play is temporarily halted. Tannane and El Karouani take a few sips and work off a gel.
It is the first time this has happened in the premier league.
NEC-PSV | 12′ Minute applause for Slegers
Nice moment in Nijmegen: in the twelfth minute, the match is briefly stopped for a round of applause for PSV’s recently deceased press secretary, Thijs Slegers.
Van Nistelrooij on hit death of Slegers: ‘Hard truth’
CAM-EMM | 14′ Ramadan break in Leeuwarden
The sun has also set in Leeuwarden, where the referee also temporarily halts the game so that the players participating in Ramadan can take a break to eat and drink.
It is the first time this has happened in the premier league.
EXC-TWE | 69′ Van Gassel mazes
In Rotterdam it is still 0-0. There is much more life on the pitch after halftime. Hard duels and great chances.
Van Gassel gets a bouncing ball straight at him, but lets it slip through his hands and can narrowly save it from the line.
Oh oh Cillessen. The ball went down ugly, but this should not happen to the Dutch goalie. He handled the shot poorly, right at the feet of PSV striker Luuk de Jong.
And he takes advantage: quick 0-1 for the Eindhoveners.
CAM-EMM | 1′ Kickoff in Leeuwarden
Cambuur and Emmen also kicked off, a cracker in the bowels of the premier league.
NEC-PSV | 1′ Kickoff in Nijmegen
NEC and PSV have started! After a minute of silence for PSV’s recently deceased press secretary Thijs Slegers.
NEC-PSV | Tribute to Slegers
EXC-TWE | 45′ Wake up, it’s halftime
So far we are not going to remember this match in five years. But maybe that’s because the match between AZ and Heerenveen is still fresh in our minds.
Assignment for the second half, for the sake of viewing pleasure: pay extra attention to Zerrouki, Twente’s playmaker scattering passes nicely.
Excelsior goalkeeper Van Gassel also deserves a compliment, he saved seven times already.
EXC-TWE | 32′ Scrappy game
This is not going to be easy. Excelsior hasn’t been near the enemy goal once. Twente has the ball. And after an energetic start, with some serious chances, the tempo has now become so sky-high that it will be a task to stay awake.
EXC-TWE | 14′ Van Gassel strong
The first gigantic chance of the match is for Vlap. Eye to eye with goalkeeper Van Gassel, Twente’s attacking midfielder does not get the ball in, from about ten meters.
Do we call this ‘good goalkeeping’ or ‘bad shot’? Van Gassel’s save is fine – he also had it in his hands – but a well-paid sub-topper professional should not miss this.
We started in Rotterdam, where home team Excelsior had a troubled week because of the captain riot surrounding El Yaakoubi. Goalkeeper Van Gassel is the new captain. El Yaakoubi does play.
It’s over in Alkmaar! AZ does not score a second deep into extra time – and perhaps rightly so when you miss so many chances.
By the way, the 1-1 did not come to Meerdink’s name, but it was an own goal by goalkeeper Mous. Not a first premier league goal, then, for Meerdink.
Read the match report here:
AZ-HEE | 90+4′ Pumping.
AZ pumps the ball in, but a big chance, no, we haven’t really seen any more.
AZ could have used Pavlidis now…but he took a bottle-throwing seat on the reserve bench a while back.
AZ-HEE | 90′ Seven minutes remaining for AZ
AZ is attacking full on. The pressure on the Frisian goal is great. After the 1-1 there hasn’t been a giant chance. But AZ gets help from the clock. The arbitration draws seven minutes of extra time.
EXC-TWE | The gentlemen starting in Rotterdam
AZ-HEE | Here is the proof of the 1-1
AZ gets to 1-1! Well only after an intervention of the VAR, because with the naked eye it was hard to see. In the pinball moment it appeared that the ball had just crossed the line. Van Ewijk worked the ball away too late.
There was some fuss about who actually scored the goal, but it now says: Mexx Meerdink, his first in the premier league.
1-1 thus, with over fifteen minutes to go.
AZ-HEE | 75′ Didn’t that one sit?
A pinball moment in front of Heerenveen’s goal. Lahdo shoots from close range full Mous in his face, after which the ball lands at the feet of Meerdink, who again shoots at goal through someone. Van Ewijk shoots the ball out of the goal mouth in a blind panic, right against the underside of the crossbar.
But wasn’t that ball behind the line? Is the VAR awake?
AZ-HEE | 71′ Sahraoui in spotlight
Osame Sahraoui, watch that from now on. That’s a fine soccer player. He dribbles fast, has an overview and is not afraid to defend.
He already gave the assist on the 1-0 and no AZ player gets a grip on the 21-year-old Norwegian flanker.
AZ-HEE | 64′ Notable AZ substitutions
Not the least names are going out at AZ, remarkably:
- Pavlidis (club top scorer) and Odgaard out
- Lahdo and Meerdink in
AZ-HEE | 62′ Nearly 0-2 Heerenveen
It’s paying attention now though, because Heerenveen are off again. After a dribble by Sahraoui, the ball lands at the feet of Van Hooijdonk, but his shot from a difficult angle is saved off the line by Beukema.
Heerenveen is not afraid to show themselves as well.
AZ-HEE | 58′ Karate Karlsson
We’ve lost count of how many chances AZ has already missed. Karlsson gets another one for a change. After chipping in behind the Frisian defense, Karlsson can volley in a flash.
It’s not easy, but he does it himself. With a kind of karate kick. He misses the ball completely.
AZ-HEE | 50′ Karlsson misses!
Mous recovers his own stupidity! Very handsome save on Karlsson’s penalty. How many chances should AZ get?
Mous played the first half very well. But in his first action, things go wrong. Mijnans has broken through harmlessly, up to the back line, and Mous slides to Mijnans ankles. With his arms wide, though. But the referee sees a penalty. A bit harsh.
AZ-HEE | 45+3′ Almost Beukema, but halftime
Almost Beukema makes up for being late to Van Hooijdonk at the 0-1. The central defender’s header is hard, well aimed, but just too much to the right. On the post.
Moments later it’s halftime. Nice first half though, lots of fireworks – on and off the field.
AZ-HEE | 45+1′ Yet again the Frisians
Almost halftime. And Heerenveen boldly goes looking for some opportunities. Van Ewijk goes after Kerkez for about the whole match, but for once it’s the other way around. Van Ewijk gets to the back line and passes….
But there is nobody there. AZ has to keep paying attention.
Wasn’t that a red? Van Ewijk trumps Karlsson in a duel and goes off with the ball. Karlsson can no longer reach the ball and kicks Van Ewijk full on the lower leg. After kicking, you would say.
But referee Kamphuis draws yellow. To the amazement of some of the Heerenveen players. Light kicking is apparently allowed?
AZ-HEE | 37′ Goal Heerenveen?
So, Pelle van Amersfoort curls it brilliantly into the top corner! But it doesn’t count…
There were already flags and whistles. And yes, Van Amersfoort was offside.
AZ-HEE | 36′ Who needs Noppert?
Heerenveen goalie Mous now saves his team for the umpteenth time. This time he narrows the goal well after Pavlidis was put free in front of the goalkeeper with a fine chip.
Heerenveen has been missing the injured Andries Noppert for several weeks now, but Mous is a fine stand-in, it turns out today.
AZ-HEE | 33′ Heerenveen holds firm
Odgaard had another chance after twenty minutes of play, but since then the pressure on the Frisian goal has eased somewhat. No, Heerenveen hardly has the ball, but AZ doesn’t press all the way either. It plays with patience.
Meanwhile, Heerenveen is holding its ground – for now.
AZ-HEE | 16′ Now Alkmaar Fireworks
Smoke can still be seen in Alkmaar. Now it is the AZ fans who are setting off flares. They do keep the fireworks neatly just in the stands.
Meanwhile, AZ has completely taken over the match. Pascal Jansen’s team is attacking and getting chances. Heerenveen cannot keep this up for long. The Frisians are not doing anything anymore. No two balls in a row went well.
AZ smells the 1-1. And smoke so, yes.
AZ-HEE | 11′ Going again
The fireworks have been removed, the players have warmed up again and we’re playing again. See if we get to see some sporting fireworks now.
AZ-HEE | 10′ Fireworks on the field, literally
Striking moment: Heerenveen is ahead, AZ is putting a lot of pressure, it’s a fine match, with no grumbling among themselves. And suddenly there are some red flares on the field in front of the Heerenveen supporters’ box.
Referee Kamphuis doesn’t hesitate and stops the match. They go inside for a moment.
Strange action by the Heerenveen fans, but it wasn’t too bad for Van Wonderen’s team either, because AZ had Heerenveen under a lot of pressure for a while. Pavlidis had a great chance and a bit later Sugawara shot dangerously, but goalkeeper Mous saved.
AZ-HEE | 5′ Goal Heerenveen!
That’s fast! Heerenveen is already up 1-0. Sahraoui delivers a clever cross to the first post and striker Van Hooijdonk slides his long stilts out. Fine striker’s goal. Beukema comes just too late.
And admittedly, AZ goalkeeper Ryan does react very weakly to the roll.
Van Hooijdonk celebrates the goal with a jersey from Van Aken, the central defender who suffered a serious knee injury this week.
We’re playing in Alkmaar! Nice to pay extra attention: the battle on the flank of AZ’er Kerkez and Heerenveen’er Van Ewijk. Two young, attacking fast backs, who might prefer to attack rather than defend.
Maximilan Arnold is not having his best working day. The Wolfsburg captain heads beautifully into his own goal after only two minutes…. And just under fifteen minutes later he blasted a penalty kick into the stands. At halftime Augsburg leads 0-2.
We stay in Germany for a while: soon at 6:30 p.m. is the German topper Bayern Munich-Borussia Dortmund. Leader Dortmund has one more point than Bayern.
The season for midfielder Jorrit Hendrix appears to be over. The 28-year-old Dutchman broke his arm at training at his club Fortuna Dusseldorf (second bundesliga).
The former PSV and Feyenoord player suffered a complex forearm fracture and required surgery, according to German media. How long Hendrix will be out is not exactly clear, but his season is in jeopardy.
AZ-HEE | These 22 start soon at 16.30
Heerenveen will not face an easy night in Alkmaar. Yes, Van Hooijdonk is playing, so is Haye, as is rapacious Oranje-believer Van Ewijk, but at the back the concerns are considerable. Goalkeeper Noppert (stomach muscle/lies) and defender Van Beek (Achilles tendon) were already in the sickbay, and defender Joost van Aken (knee) was added last week.
At AZ, the home team, Beukema is favored over Goes. Otherwise, the number four of the Eredivisie will play with the familiar starting players. A win or a draw will move AZ past PSV, who play NEC later tonight.
Match report City-Liverpool
City scores easily even without Haaland and pushes Liverpool deeper into worry
Manchester City reduced the gap with leaders Arsenal to five points by eliminating Liverpool 4-1 at home. The guests still took the lead, but in the end Nathan Aké’s team was much too strong for ‘The Reds’ of Virgil van Dijk and Cody Gakpo.
In the first quarter of an hour, the home side had the best chances. Rodri shot once into the hands of goalkeeper Alisson Becker and Riyad Mahrez curled a free kick just wide of the goal. Yet it was Liverpool that took the lead.
After a 1-1 halftime score, it is now 3-1 in Manchester. Thanks to goals by Kevin De Bruyne and Ilkay Gundogan, the home side has a comfortable lead.
Vitesse coach Cocu happy it’s back to soccer: ‘Does something to players’
At Vitesse, it’s finally about (relegation) soccer again: ‘Never doubted’
Haaland misses topper against Liverpool
The match has been on for an hour now, but Manchester City will play in the topper against Liverpool without super striker Erling Haaland. The Norwegian striker is still not fully recovered from the groin injury that also kept him sidelined during the last international period.
“He is not fit and does not feel well enough. It is not a serious injury, but the match against Liverpool comes too soon,” coach Pep Guardiola said before the start of the game, which began at 1:30 p.m.
Halfway through the match, it is 1-1 in Manchester.
Haaland was already 42 times on goal for his club this season. He has already made six hat-tricks.
As many as three Dutchmen in action
Nathan Aké did feature in the starting lineup at City. At Liverpool, there was a starting place for Virgil van Dijk as usual. Cody Gakpo also started from the kickoff.
Manchester City is second in the Premier League, 8 points behind leaders Arsenal. Liverpool is the number 6.
Destined for Ponypark Slagharen, now extremely successful at Sparta Rotterdam
Feyenoord and Sparta will be in action tomorrow. Earlier this week we spoke with some key players of the club from Spangen.
Destined for Ponypark Slagharen, now extremely successful at Sparta Rotterdam
With Gerard Nijkamp (53), feelings win out over logic. Perhaps that is the secret of the technical director who turned relegation candidate Sparta into a Dutch sub-topper within a year.
For he seemed destined to succeed his father. Also a technical manager, but in the then Pony Park Slagharen.
“I did have my first side job there. My brothers Ben and Hein also worked there. Of whom the oldest, Hein, is still active at Pony Park City,” Nijkamp says. “My father would have liked me to have studied mechanical engineering. To learn a real trade, with which I would choose security. But most of all, as a child, I was completely obsessed with soccer.”
Today is April 1, so we go back in time for a moment
‘Van Hanegem makes transfer to Circus Boltini’; the April 1 joke from fifty years ago
Even after fifty years, Theo Reitsma still shoots up in laughter. “I can still remember that incident well…,” says the now 80-year-old soccer commentator.
“We had figured out that he had signed a contract with Circus Boltini. I believe he was going to give crooked balls. In any case, a specialty of ‘The Crooked’. But of course that could never be done in a circus.”
April 1, 1973: ‘Van Hanegem makes transfer to Circus Boltini’
The international period is behind us and that means the premier league continues again. Today we start playing round 27.
Five matches are scheduled today. AZ and sc Heerenveen kick off the premier league weekend at 4:30 pm. Excelsior and FC Twente can kick off at 6:45 p.m.
At 8 p.m. there are two matches: NEC-PSV and SC Cambuur-FC Emmen.
RKC Waalwijk and Vitesse will close the evening starting at 9 p.m.