Feyenoord smells national title – PSV hits gap with Ajax in battle for second place
AZ digested its successful midweek efforts in the Conference League well.
The Alkmaarders brought the match against RKC Waalwijk over the line, winning 3-0 through goals by Sven Mijnans, Mayckel Lahdo and Myron van Brederode.
AZ-RKC | 63′ GOAL AZ!
Myron van Brederode helps AZ to a margin of three goals against RKC. The striker tapped a cross on the right side from Tijjani Reijnders simply against the ropes with the inside of his foot.
AZ-RKC | 50′ GOAL AZ!
An excellent start to the second half for AZ. Mayckel Lahdo pops the ball in via the underside of the crossbar.
AZ-RKC | Second half: no Meerdink
The second half of AZ – RKC (1-0) begins. Mexx Meerdink, who replaced Odgaard in the 22nd minute, has already been substituted. Djordje Mihailovic comes in for him.
Club Brugge reach play-offs for title through big win over Eupen
Club Brugge has qualified for the playoffs for the title in Belgium’s top division through a big win over KAS Eupen and AA Gent’s defeat at Ostend. Brugge won 7-0 over Eupen. Ghent lost 2-1 to Ostend.
The club of soccer players Bjorn Meijer and Noa Lang started the last round of the regular competition with as many points as Gent, which had a better goal difference. Bruges did everything it needed to do at home and won 7-0. Lang scored the fourth goal and gave the assist on the first of three goals by Ferran Jutglà.
Gent fell behind at home against Ostend in the second half through a goal by Fraser Hornby. Hugo Cuypers still equalized, but the visitors won through Nick Batzner’s goal, keeping Gent from fourth place. Leaders Racing Genk (2-2 at Charleroi), Union (4-2 win at Kortrijk) and Antwerp, which won 1-0 at STVV earlier in the day, were already sure of the playoffs for the title.
Zulte Waregem lost 3-2 to Cercle Brugge and also relegated from the top division after Seraing and Ostend. Zulte, with Ruud Vormer hired from Brugge, still came back from an early 2-0 deficit, but Thibo Somers’ goal in the closing stages proved fatal for the team.
AZ deservedly led 1-0 against RKC. Towards the end of the first half, however, the visitors came through dangerously. Things could still get exciting in the second half.
Half-time: AZ – RKC Waalwijk 1-0
AZ-RKC | 44′ Two chances RKC
While AZ is supreme for much of the first half, RKC gets chances just before halftime. After a good counter, Gaari passes just too high to Clement and moments later Ryan prevents a goal by Mats Seuntjens with a clever save.
Milan keep chance of fourth place in Serie A through victory over Lecce
AC Milan has kept their chance of fourth place in Serie A through a 2-0 victory over Lecce. The national champion’s win takes them to 56 points, the same number as No. 4 AS Roma, which is still in action Monday against Atalanta.
The first four clubs in Serie A qualify directly for the Champions League next season. Milan also still has a chance to qualify for the Champions League by winning the current edition. The Milanese will take on city rival Internazionale in the semifinals.
Rafael Leão, who already excelled in last Tuesday’s game against Napoli, was once again Milan’s big man. This time the Portuguese striker scored himself. He opened the scoring himself just before halftime and also provided the second goal in the second half. Inter won 3-0 at Empoli earlier in the afternoon.
AZ-RKC | Another injury for AZ player
Now left winger Van Brederode is on the ground. Fortunately for AZ, he gets back up and can continue.
Ten Hag and United to dream FA Cup final against city rival City
Manchester United has reached the final of the FA Cup. Coach Ten Hag’s team needed penalties in the semifinal at Wembley, after a 0-0 final score, to get rid of Brighton & Hove Albion.
AZ-RKC | 20′ Odgaard drops out injured, Meerdink falls in
A setback for AZ. Jens Odgaard is taken off the field by stretcher.
Mexx Meerdink comes into the team for him. This sounds like an opportunity for the latter, but could also mean that he may not travel to Switzerland for the Youth League final against Hajduk Split on Monday due to too much playing time.
AZ is close to making it 2-0. After a corner kick, goalkeeper Pereira saves on an Odgaard effort. Lahdo fails to capitalize on the rebound.
On one side it doesn’t count, on the other it does. Sven Mijnans heads in after a nice pass from Yukinari Sugawara. Just not offside, VAR also judges.
AZ-RKC | 6′ Goal RKC disallowed
RKC scores! Clement plays to Kramer and he shoots in. However, the flag goes up for offside and this is confirmed by VAR.
The ball is rolling in the closing match of the 30th round of the premier league: AZ – RKC Waalwijk.
No Vaessen, but Pereira at RKC
No Etienne Vaessen under the crossbar at RKC. The regular goalkeeper is injured. Joel Pereira will take his place. The 26-year-old Portuguese only played in the away match against NEC this season. That did not go well: 6-1. The reason he played then was that Vaessen overslept.
Meerdink on the bench now, on plane tomorrow?
Mexx Meerdink fired in the winning penalty kick against Anderlecht last Thursday, allowing AZ to qualify for the semifinals of the Conference League. The 19-year-old striker could have joined his peers on Friday to play the Youth League semifinals against Sporting. However, due to an injury to Vangelis Pavlidis, he had to stay with the first.
“It depends on how many minutes he plays,” said coach Pascal Jansen before the game with RKC. Meerdink will start on the bench, Jens Odgaard will start at center forward for the Alkmaarders. A delegation of AZ will certainly fly to Switzerland on Monday, but whether Meerdink will travel with them, we will know tonight after the match.
AZ-RKC | Some facts in a row
– AZ had beaten RKC in 13 of the 17 duels in Alkmaar. In 2004 it was 7-0 with three goals from Martijn Meerdink.
– Last season RKC recorded its third win in Alkmaar: 1-3. Also this season RKC already beat AZ: in Waalwijk it became 3-1 (2 late goals Bakkali).
– Odgaard (AZ) scored 8 goals in 30 league matches for RKC last season.
– In Alkmaar, Pavlidis and Kramer meet. They are both top scorers for their club with 12 goals.
FEY-UTR | Match Report
Feyenoord wash away European hangover with win over Utrecht and can smell national title
Leaders Feyenoord can start to get ready for the championship celebration at Coolsingel. The Rotterdammers won easily 3-1 against FC Utrecht Sunday evening in the net-fringed pitch.
Kickoff at De Kuip was some 65 hours after Feyenoord’s European elimination. Coach Arne Slot’s team had to go deep against AS Roma on Thursday night and was eliminated after an extension (4-1). But anyone who thought the disappointment or fatigue would carry over into the match against Utrecht was wrong.
FEY-UTR | 90+4′ Finished
End of match in Rotterdam. Feyenoord beat FC Utrecht 3-1 and can grab the title in the next league match, away at Excelsior. In that case, PSV, which plays an away game at Sparta after next week’s cup final, must lose points at the Kralingers.
Otherwise, Feyenoord can clinch the title when it plays at home against Go Ahead Eagles on May 14.
FEY-UTR | 89′ GOAL FC UTRECHT!
Dost with the honorary goal for the visitors. The long striker shoots in with a beautiful foot movement to make it 3-1.
FEY-UTR | 80′ GOAL FEYENOORD!
Feyenoord are having a good time, especially with Thursday night’s tough away match against AS Roma still in their legs, but there seems to be no sign of fatigue. The Rotterdammers control without too much effort and even get to 3-0 through Jahanbakhsh. The Iranian hit the ball from outside the penalty area.
FEY-UTR | 66′ Two giant chances on both sides
Just like just after halftime, it could have been two strikes. First Danilo shoots a few meters from Barkas straight at the Greek keeper and at the other end Douvikas goes at Bijlow alone. He also passes, but then the angle is too difficult.
FEY-UTR | 54′ GOAL FEYENOORD!
2-0 in Rotterdam. Kokcu drives well and then shoots hard at Barkas’ fists. Giménez is quick to head the rebound in.
FEY-UTR | Some facts at a glance
– Feyenoord last lost a league game at home to FC Utrecht in 2014, winning four times. The home team won 34 of the 52 duels.
– Leaders Feyenoord is on its way to its 16th league title. Number 7 Utrecht is almost certain of playoff participation.
– Feyenoord is unbeaten in the last 7 editions at De Kuip. Last season Feyenoord won 2-1, with Sinisterra’s winning goal in 96th minute.
– Earlier this competition, it was 1-1 in Utrecht. Jens Toornstra, who returned to De Kuip today as an FC Utrecht player, then scored after only three minutes. Toornstra was a Feyenoord player from 2014 to 2022 and became national champion in 2017. Substitute Jahanbakhsh made it 1-1 in the 90th minute.
FEY-UTR | 50′ Danger for both goals
First it is premier league top scorer Douvikas who seems to become dangerous. He bypasses Hancko, but the Slovakian recovers and prevents a chance for the 1-1 with a clever slide in the sixteen. A few seconds later, Gimenez plays himself cleverly free on the opposite side on the edge of the box, but his shot goes just wide.
FEY-UTR | 46′ Second half
The second half began in Rotterdam, where Szymanski was left injured in the locker room. The Pole suffered a knock at the end of the first half and made way for Danilo.
Feyenoord was the more dominant side in the first half, taking a deserved lead. However, it did not manage to create many chances, so Utrecht is by no means hopeless in this match.
FEY-UTR | 15′ GOAL FEYENOORD!
After fifteen minutes of play, there is the deserved lead for the Rotterdammers. Pedersen puts through strongly on the right side, wins the duel from Van der Maarel and can then deliver the low cross. Wieffer with the cross, Szymanski can shoot in completely free.
FEY-UTR | 8′ Strong start Feyenoord, but Utrecht already dangerous too
The home side came through on the left side of the pitch several times. Idrissi’s crosses were cleared by the Utrecht defense each time, but Feyenoord got off to a strong start. The best chance so far, however, comes from Utrecht. Othmane Boussaid curled the ball just over the cross after a quick breakaway.
PSV-AJA | Match report
PSV wins battle for second place convincingly over Ajax, game temporarily suspended
It was a battle for second place between PSV and Ajax in Eindhoven, and that battle was convincingly won by the home side: 3-0. With four rounds of play to go in the premier league, PSV now has three points ahead of the rival. The game was briefly halted in 60th minute after a plastic cup was thrown onto the pitch.
Ajax was warned, coach John Heitinga was warned. PSV’s strength is in the air. “We have to defend those moments well and take out crosses,” Heitinga said beforehand. “We are constantly working on that, even apart from PSV. Winning personal duels and defending the penalty area well.”
PSV-AJA | 90+5′ Finished, PSV wins!
Ajax had a few more chances through Brobbey, but the biggest was at the other end for substitute Saibari. His effort hit the post via Rulli’s fingertips. Not much later the whistle blows. PSV wins this highly charged match 3-0 and takes over second place from Ajax.
Meanwhile, in Rotterdam, Feyenoord and Utrecht have started their match.
GAE-FOR | Match Report
Go Ahead Eagles as good as safe, Fortuna Sittard not yet
The pressure is off at Go Ahead Eagles. The Deventeners can finish the season relaxed after a 2-0 victory over Fortuna Sittard, which does have to keep looking down with a slanted eye.
Fortuna started well, but Dimitrios Siovas got stuck in the crease and Ivo Pinto shot wide. Willum Thor Willumsson did score in a scrimmage and missed a chance for the 2-0. Striker Paul Gladon mowed over the ball for Fortuna from close range and headed over moments later.
PSV-AJA | 78′ GOAL PSV!
There’s the decision. Simons breaks out on the left side after a brilliant pass with the outside of Veerman’s foot. Simons next with the cross and De Jong runs it in. PSV in a seat.
GAE-FOR | 90+5′ Finished
End of match in Deventer. Go Ahead books a smooth and deserved 2-0 win over Fortuna Sittard. As a result, with 36 points, the home team has now tallied as many as last season after 34 games. with eight points ahead of Excelsior’s nacompetition spot, survival seems certain for Eagles.
PSV-AJA | 62′ Almost Taylor!
Ajax almost made it a game again. Taylor was free to strike from distance after a strong attack. His shot first hit the inside of the left post and went out of the goal via the right post.
PSV-AJA | 60′ The ball is rolling again
Fortunately, it can be about soccer again in Eindhoven. The match has resumed.
FEY-UTR | Setup Feyenoord
Leaders Feyenoord take on FC Utrecht at 16.45 at their own Kuip stadium. The Rotterdammers, who were knocked out of the Europa League after an extension in Rome on Thursday, have to do it today without Gernot Trauner. The Austrian international is ill.
As a result, Geertruida shifts to the center and Marcus Pedersen enters the lines as right back. Up front, Paixão is preferred to Jahanbakhsh. Hartman is suspended.
PSV-AJA | Later again
The cooling off period is almost over, in a few minutes the ball will start rolling again in Eindhoven.
GAE-FOR | 75′ GOAL GO AHEAD!
In Deventer, meanwhile, it is 2-0. The just-fallen Xander Blomme is at the end of a smooth breakaway.
PSV-AJA | Berghuis pelted, match halted
Unbelievable, but once again something is thrown on the field. This time in the direction of Steven Berghuis. Gözübüyük sends everyone inside and there is a cooling off period. It is not clear if the match will be stopped for good.
The supporter who threw something will hopefully be led out quickly for him, as quite a few fellow supporters want to seek redress.
PSV-AJA | 58′ Ajax threatening
The Amsterdammers are not giving in just yet. First it is Brobbey who forces Benitez into a save with a fine shot. Then another precarious moment just outside PSV’s five-meter area, with several Ajax players mowing over the ball. This match does not seem to be played yet.
PSV-AJA | 53′ GOAL PSV!
Again it is Simons who becomes dangerous. After a splitting depth pass, Simons comes through, but Rulli takes him down in the penalty area. Simons gets behind the ball himself and makes it 2-0.
PSV-AJA | 51′ PSV dangerous again
The home team comes out of the locker room ironclad, this time it is Simons who goes at the goalkeeper alone. His effort goes just wide.
PSV-AJA | 46′ Also busy again in Eindhoven
It is immediate spectacle when PSV and Ajax start playing again. Veerman is allowed to touch down from the sixteen and forces Rulli into an extreme save. Not long after, Bergwijn can break out, but Teze prevents the former PSV player from becoming dangerous with a foot.
For the visitors, by the way, Bassey has been replaced by Brobbey. So Heitinga is going to play a little more attacking.
GAE-FOR | 46′ Second half started
While in Eindhoven everyone is still sitting inside, in Deventer the game is being played again. Both teams come out of the dressing room unchanged.
Meanwhile in England…
…Newcastle United is demolishing Tottenham Hotspur. Thanks in part to two goals by former Willem II player Alexander Isak, the scoreboard stood at 5-0 after just 21 minutes of play.
‘The Magpies’ opened the score in the second minute, followed by goals in the sixth, ninth, nineteenth and 21st minutes.
It was once before that a team had such a big lead so quickly in the Premier League. Manchester City scorched five goals in eighteen minutes against Watford on September 21, 2019. That game eventually ended in 8-0.
PSV-AJA | Also rest in Eindhoven
After 45 minutes of soccer, PSV leads 1-0 thanks to a header by Luuk de Jong. Ajax has the most ball possession, but PSV the best chances. What also stands out is that Hato does have a hard time with Bakayoko and Rulli was not so happy a couple of times with De Jong going firmly into the air duel. A solid match, without too much good soccer, but one that manages to captivate.
GAE-FOR | Rest in Deventer
Both teams meanwhile moved to the locker rooms for a nice cup of tea.
Twente women back on top after win at PEC, title battle nears climax
The title fight in the women’s premier league is approaching an exciting apotheosis. The FC Twente women won 2-0 at PEC Zwolle a week before the topper against Ajax. This puts Twente back on top of the premier league.
Ajax, which led by a 2-1 win over Fortuna Sittard for a day, follows on two points. Last-ditch Excelsior surprisingly won 1-0 from city rival Feyenoord on Sunday.
GAE-FOR | 44′ Good chance Fortuna
It was close to being equal in Deventer. Noslin gets a chance to strike on the edge of the sixteen, but his low shot is dived out of the goal by De Lange. Go Ahead still with the 1-0 lead.
PSV-AJA | 32′ Good chance for Ajax
Sanchéz is away on the right and his cross, after a cross from Klaassen, lands at the feet of Taylor. Who can shoot freely from the edge of the sixteen, but Til is in the way. Ajax very dangerous there.
SPA-TWE | Match Report
Sparta successfully defends fifth spot after exciting game with Twente
The encounter between FC Twente and Sparta, with the fifth spot in the premier league at stake, ended in a goal-rich draw: 3-3. Shurandy Sambo scored the third goal on behalf of the Rotterdammers in injury time, keeping Sparta one point ahead in the standings.
Entertainment value has been high all season at the virtually impregnable Grolsch Veste. Except for draws against sc Heerenveen, Feyenoord and Go Ahead Eagles, all home games were won.
GAE-FOR | 17′ GOAL GO AHEAD!
It was a bit of a wait and see, but Go Ahead does get the lead at home against Fortuna. After a corner, Amofa chopped the ball to Willumsson, who tapped in from close range. VAR briefly looks at offside, but the goal stands.
It is the Icelander’s seventh goal this season.
PSV-AJA | 13′ GOAL PSV!
John Heitinga warned earlier this week about PSV’s strength, the Eindhoven side’s headers. One of them is Luuk de Jong, who just headed in the 1-0 on Bakayoko’s cross.
PSV-AJA | 9′ First chance for PSV
The first major threat of the match comes from the home team. Bakayoko is sent away on the right side and passes. Til then mows over the ball, but if he had hit it a little better it would have been a lot more dangerous.
PSV-AJA | 7′ Sanchez immediately on target
Not a convenient action by Ajax-back. On PSV’s half, he grabs the escaped Simons by the waist after which the Mexican gets yellow.
The ball is rolling in Deventer and Eindhoven.
GAE-FOR | Some facts in a row
– Go Ahead takes on Fortuna for the tenth time in the premier league at home. Six times the points stayed in Deventer, twice Fortuna triumphed.
– Go Ahead won the last three editions. Last season it ended up 4-3 after 1-3. In Sittard this season it was 0-2, with goals by Kuipers and Adekanye.
– Stokkers (Go Ahead) was a Fortunean from 2017 to 2019. Córdoba traded the Eagles for Fortuna last summer.
– Earlier this league, Go Ahead finished 0-2 in Sittard through goals by Kuipers and Adekanye.
PSV-AJA | Some facts in a row
– PSV-Ajax has always been played since the introduction of the premier league in 1956. PSV won 32 of 66 times and 17 times Ajax won, not losing the last three editions. Last season, without a crowd because of the coronavirus, it was 1-2.
– In 2018, PSV won 3-0 twice. In April, it thus became champion. In both April and September, Pereiro made the 1-0 and Luuk de Jong made the 2-0.
– This season, PSV won at Ajax: 1-2 (0-1 De Jong, 0-2 Gutiérrez and 1-2 Lucca).
– The next match between the two clubs is the mutual cup final on Sunday, April 30, at De Kuip.
– Ajax and PSV are behind points of leader and near champion Feyenoord. Both clubs very much want to finish second to make it to the preliminary round of the Champions League from. Ajax’s goal difference is 7 goals better: +50 to +43.
– PSV is 11 games unbeaten (8 wins, 3x draw), since the 1-0 defeat in and against Emmen at the end of January.
– Simons of PSV is top scorer in the Eredivisie, along with Douvikas of FC Utrecht (14 goals).
– Alvarez is suspended because of his 10th yellow card this league. Bassey is his replacement. Kudus is not yet fit to play; possibly in the cup final.
– PSV coach Ruud van Nistelrooij played 5 premier league games against Ajax as a PSV player: 4x win and 1x draw; 7 goals, including 3 during Ajax-PSV (1-3) of Dec. 15, 1999.
– Anwar El Ghazi of PSV made his premier league debut for Ajax in 2014, for which he played 70 league games, scoring 20x in them (3x against PSV).
– Steven Bergwijn of Ajax made his premier league debut for PSV in 2015. Bergwijn played 112 league games for PSV, in which he scored 29x (1x against Ajax). Bergwijn became champion with PSV as a base player in 2018.
– Ajax reserve goalkeeper Remko Pasveer was under contract with PSV between 2014 and 2017, for which he played 5 premier league games. As reserve goalkeeper, Pasveer became 2x champion with PSV.
PSV-AJA | Setup Ajax: Bassey replaces suspended Álvarez
Calvin Bassey replaces as already announced by coach John Heitinga Edson Álvarez in the center of defense. The Mexican received a yellow card in the 3-1 win against FC Emmen a week ago and is suspended.
Jorrel Hato and Jorge Sánchez are the backs. Ajax’s starting eleven is unchanged except for the absence of Álvarez. Davy Klaassen, Florian Grillitsch and Kenneth Taylor make up the middle line and the forwards consist of Steven Berghuis, captain Dusan Tadic and former PSV player Steven Bergwijn. The injured Mohammed Kudus is still not deployable.
TWE-SPA | Some facts in a row
– Number 5 Sparta has already traveled to Enschede 46 times for a premier league match with number 6 Twente and took the points nine times. Thanks to two goals by Van Gaal, Sparta won 1-6 in 1985.
– FC Twente recorded 26 victories. The biggest was in 1993: 5-0 (2x Polley).
– Twente is still unbeaten at home in the premier league. Sparta has 1 point more.
– Match between father Maurice (coach Sparta) and son Sem (Twente). Hilgers (Twente) is not yet match fit.
– In Enschede last season it was 2-0 for Twente through goals by Van Wolfswinkel and Rots.
– Earlier this league it was 1-1 in Rotterdam. Steijn (Twente) and Verschueren (Sparta) were the goal scorers.
PSV now more important than Oranje for De Jong: ‘For myself, my family and the club’
Luuk de Jong did not get everything out of his soccer year in his intended comeback season at PSV by a long shot. For example, the 32-year-old striker was plagued by injuries, made almost no minutes for Oranje at the World Cup and the Eindhoven side slipped up several times against low-flyers.
And so the focus in the premier league is on spot two, in a direct confrontation with rival Ajax. “Right now the most important match of the season,” if it is up to De Jong. “We should definitely be able to finish second, or Feyenoord should still make very big mistakes. But against Ajax you always want to win.”
De Jong on difficult season PSV: ‘We fell through the bottom line too often’
Boerrigter, the Amsterdam hero of 2013: ‘People always start talking about the 2-3’
The confrontation between PSV and Ajax in 2013, like today’s, was full of tension. The stakes were high. The lead in the premier league was at stake.
It was to be the day of Derk Boerrigter, who gave Ajax the win as a substitute. “I’ve stopped playing soccer for seven years now. But when people recognize me, especially in Amsterdam, they always start talking about that 2-3. That one is on everyone’s mind.”
2013: Ajax beats PSV 3-2 thanks to Boerrigter and takes advance on title
Good morning and welcome to our liveblog. Five matches in the premier league are scheduled today. Most prominent duel is of course PSV against Ajax, with the second place at stake. Later in the day, leaders Feyenoord and AZ will be in action.
The premier league Sunday, however, begins in Enschede, where FC Twente takes on Sparta Rotterdam. Another important encounter, with an eye on the fifth spot. The Rotterdammers are currently one point ahead.
Follow all developments on the fields in this liveblog!