Champions League further out of sight for Ajax – PSV solidifies second place, AZ remains fourth
AZ sets sights on West Ham United: ‘Looking forward to it’
AZ awaits its first game in London on Thursday with West Ham United in the semifinals of the Conference League. After the 0-0 draw against Ajax in Amsterdam, the Alkmaarders already set their sights on that. “Looking forward to it a lot,” said midfielder Tijjani Reijnders.
154 AZ supporters arrested in subway for anti-Semitic chants
Police in Amsterdam detained 154 soccer supporters for singing anti-Semitic songs in the subway. They were AZ supporters on their way to the Arena for the Ajax-AZ match.
Around 7:30 p.m., after repeated warnings by police, the subway was stopped at Strandvliet station, shortly before the Arena. Officers were in the metro and they detained all supporters who were chanting for group insult, police reported.
AJA-AZ | Ajax and AZ fail to score in entertaining topper, PSV smiling third
Ajax failed to wash away the hangover from the lost cup final against PSV. In an attractive topper against AZ, Ajax had the better of the game, but failed to get the ball between the posts: 0-0.
Because AZ also failed to capitalize on the chances it did get, Ajax does retain third place in the premier league. PSV, which earlier in the evening won with difficulty 1-0 against Sparta, is the laughing third and as number two in the premier league can hardly escape the ticket to the Champions League.
Real leads in Spanish cup final
It’s halftime at the final of the Copa del Rey, the Spanish cup final. Real Madrid leads against Osasuna 1-0 through a goal by Rodrygo in the second minute.
In the person of Steven Bergwijn, Ajax signals their intention to push one more time. The striker concludes his rush with a shot wide, via an Alkmaar leg.
Part of the crowd no longer believes in it and leaves the Arena. With this score, the difference between PSV and Ajax rises to five points.
AJA-AZ | 72′ Sloppy with chances
Ajax deals sloppily with its sparse chances. This is one, for Taylor. The midfielder shoots far too wildly over in free position.
Ajax is on top and has most of the ball possession, although the pace is not high. AZ is waiting, waiting for a deadly counter? With this 0-0 score, the difference between number three Ajax and number four AZ remains two points.
Ajax’s desire to keep PSV in sight seems greater than AZ’s desire to take over third place.
The second half begins at the Johan Cruijff Arena. At Ajax, Kudus makes way for former AZ player Wijndal. Hato moves from left back to center, Edson Álvarez moves to midfield, Bergwijn becomes outside right and Tadic outside left.
At AZ, no substitutions. Mayckel Lahdo had replaced the injured Odgaard five minutes before halftime.
NEC-HEE | Cillessen again schlemiel in painful defeat NEC against Heerenveen
SC Heerenveen scored an important 3-2 victory at NEC with a lot of fortune. The Nijmegen side were better, but ultimately let themselves be trounced in the closing stages with a negative leading role for Jasper Cillessen.
Watch the summary of NEC-Heerenveen
It is halftime at the battle for spot three in the premier league between Ajax and AZ. In an entertaining topper, most of the chances are for Ajax. However, Brobbey is not on target and Bergwijn hits post and crossbar. At the other end, Reijnders misses a chance.
NEC-HEE | 87′ GOAL SC HEERENVEEN
What a blunder, what an aberration by Cillessen. The NEC goalkeeper lets a perfectly tenable ball from Antoine Colassin go past him, but misjudged his position. The ball does not go wide, but into the goal. In desperation, Cillessen bangs his head against the post. Ouch.
AJA-AZ | 42′ Brobbey not sharp in front of goal
Again Ajax is close to a goal. After laying back from Klaassen, Brobbey should score, but the striker shoots at goalkeeper Ryan. Then Bergwijn, who earlier hit the post, shoots at the crossbar.
After a cross from Tadic, two Ajacans pop up at the far post. Brobbey and Kudus. Brobbey can do nothing more than merely touch the ball with his head. However, the striker had not seen that Kudus was still behind him and in a better position to score. The ball goes wide via Brobbey, Kudus balks and shows it.
CAM-UTR | 64′ GOAL FC UTRECHT!
After Ruiter has floored Van de Streek, Utrecht is allowed a penalty kick. Douvikas seizes the opportunity and, with 16 goals, leads the top scorers’ list. Degradation for Cambuur comes even closer.
SC Cambuur-FC Utrecht 0-3
NEC-HEE | 61′ GOAL NEC!
When Oussama Tannane has just left the field for Jordy Bruijn, NEC scores. Landry Dimata makes it 2-1 after a cross from El Karouani.
AJA-AZ | 17′ Reijnders misses face to face with Rulli
After a superb pass from Sugawara, Reijnders comes face to face with Ajax goalkeeper Rulli, but the AZ midfielder misses the opportunity.
Liverpool wins and increases pressure on Manchester United
Liverpool, in the battle for fourth place in the Premier League, once again increased the pressure on Manchester United. Jürgen Klopp’s formation defeated Brentford (1-0), already the sixth consecutive win in the league. The deficit is now only one point behind United, which, however, has two more games to go.
Virgil van Dijk had an important part in Liverpool’s goal, which fell after only 13 minutes. The Dutch defender headed the ball after a pass from Fabinho to the feet of Mohamed Salah, who passed goalkeeper David Raya from close range. Van Dijk, as captain, and Cody Gakpo were both base players for Liverpool. Gakpo played as a sort of “number 10” behind attacking Mohamed Salah, Diogo Jota and Darwin Núñez.
AJA-AZ | 10′ Opportunities back and forth
From a cross by Bergwijn, Brobbey kicks on goalkeeper Ryan from close range, Odgaard shoots from distance, after which Rulli saves, Kudus shoots wide after Brobbey passes back and Pavlidis kicks into Rulli’s hands. Opportunities back and forth in the Johan Cruijff Arena. No goals yet.
Coach Guardiola at City angry over ‘gesture’ Haaland
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola was angry with Erling Haaland on Saturday for leaving the taking of a penalty kick when leading 2-0 against Leeds United shortly before time to Ilkay Gündogan. He wanted to give the German the opportunity to score his third goal.
Gündogan shot against the post, however, Leeds scored against (2-1) and for a moment City threatened to lose important points in the battle for the title with Arsenal. Guardiola was spared that misery, however.
“If ‘Gündo’ had scored everyone would have been OK,” Guardiola said. “A hat trick, nice, but he missed. We have a specialist for a reason. That’s why Haaland should have done it himself. We were not in a situation where the match was already decided. He took an unnecessary risk. That could have gone wrong.”
Haaland himself did not sit well in the match either. He missed, most unusually, several good opportunities.
Internazionale closer to Champions League after win at AS Roma
Internazionale has climbed to fourth place in Serie A, inching closer to a spot in next season’s Champions League. The club won in the capital at coach José Mourinho’s AS Roma, 0-2.
Federico Dimarco opened the scoring for Inter after more than half an hour. He tapped in at the far post, after a fine action by Denzel Dumfries on the right flank. About 15 minutes before time, Inter ran out further thanks to Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian finished after a pass from Lautaro Martínez, who got the ball from an opponent.
Dumfries was substituted after an hour. Stefan de Vrij entered the field after 70 minutes. Georginio Wijnaldum and Rick Karsdorp were missing for Roma.
Important Milan win with sour aftertaste: injury to Leão just before CL clash with Inter
Looking ahead to next season’s Champions League, AC Milan did fine business this afternoon by winning 2-0 against Lazio. For Milan’s fans at this point, however, only this year’s edition probably counts.
This Wednesday, in fact, the first leg of the duel with city rival Internazionale is scheduled. At stake is a place in the final of the Champions League. The last time Milan reached that final was in 2007.
And so fans will probably remember mainly that star player Rafael Leão was injured after only 11 minutes out with an injury to his thigh and not that Milan recorded a handsome win over number two Lazio.
Sparta acquires Clement from RKC
Sparta Rotterdam is acquiring Pelle Clement from RKC Waalwijk. The club has reached a two-year deal with the 26-year-old midfielder, with an option for another season on Sparta’s part. Clement will transfer in the summer.
Clement was trained at Ajax. He played for Jong Ajax in the first division, but also made his debut in the first team. After a spell in England with Reading FC, Clement returned to the Netherlands with PEC Zwolle, before joining RKC Waalwijk last summer.
“With his versatility in midfield and experience gained in both the Eredivisie and the English Championship, he is a reinforcement for our selection,” said Sparta technical director Gerard Nijkamp. “With now more than 200 matches in professional soccer, with a good number of assists and his footballing qualities, we are pleased that we were able to convince him to make the switch to us.”
Genoa back at highest level
Genoa returns to the highest level of Italian soccer, Serie A, after a year away. The club won Saturday over Ascoli (2-1) and is now certain of at least second place in Serie B, sufficient for promotion. Frosinone, leader in Serie B, previously secured promotion.
Mattia Bani and Croatian Milan Badelj scored for Genoa, Davide Marsura did so for Ascoli. Kevin Strootman, former international of the Netherlands, played the entire match with Genoa. Where Genoo is promoted, city rival Sampdoria is close to relegation as Serie A’s straggler.
Allardyce coach for ninth time in Premier League
Sam Allardyce was appointed Wednesday as Leeds United’s new coach. The Englishman replaces Javi Gracia, who has only been in charge of the group since February this year. It is his ninth job in the Premier League for the 68-year-old Allardyce. The former England national coach’s previous job ended two years ago. Then he had to save West Bromwich Albion from relegation, which he failed to do. He also has to save Leeds.
He previously managed Bolton Wanderers, Newcastle United, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham United, Sunderland, Crystal Palace and Everton. Against leaders Manchester City, Allardyce and Leeds were trailing 2-0 at halftime on Saturday.
Standings: Sparta can put Feyenoord on threshold of championship
Sparta Rotterdam can take city rival Feyenoord to the threshold of the championship. If Sparta takes points in the home match against PSV (kick-off 18.45 hrs), Feyenoord can clinch the title on Sunday. Coach Arne Slot’s team must win at Excelsior.
Feyenoord are eight points ahead of PSV, who won the KNVB Cup by beating Ajax on penalties last Sunday. Sparta is having a strong season and is in fifth place.
With Ajax and AZ, the numbers 3 and 4 of the league table will take on each other in the Johan Cruijff ArenA starting at 9 p.m. Ajax has 2 points more than the Alkmaarers and is 3 points behind PSV.
At the bottom of the premier league, relegation could become a reality this weekend for SC Cambuur and FC Groningen. Cambuur, which is 12 points away from a “safe” position, will host FC Utrecht on Saturday night (kickoff 8 p.m.). FC Groningen will play Go Ahead Eagles on Sunday from 2:30 pm. With 11 points behind the first clubs above them (Excelsior and FC Emmen), Groningen too can hardly avoid relegation.
With new owner, Chelsea experiences disastrous season: ‘Messes up on all sides’
A new owner, two trainer changes and a 12th place ranking; it is not Chelsea’s year, to say the least. And it’s not just a bad run or a down phase, but 39 points after 33 games.
“It’s rumbling on all sides,” also sees former Chelsea player Boudewijn Zenden, who has also been an assistant coach at the London club.