Two games briefly halted after beer on pitch – Twente puts NEC over knee
In this liveblog, we look ahead to the national and international soccer weekend:
We’re calling it quits here in Hilversum. Tomorrow the 32nd round of play continues with three games and we will be there again with a liveblog.
Heracles stays ahead of PEC on goal difference; first division denouement next week
Also at PEC Zwolle-Roda JC, the teams were briefly sent to the dressing rooms in the closing stages after beer spilled on the pitch. That happened just after PEC’s 3-1 win.
Heracles Almelo goes into the final round of the Keuken Kampioen Divisie as the frontrunner. The Almeloërs won as did rival PEC Zwolle and are still on top based on goal difference.
Visiting NAC Breda, the frontrunner won 3-0, while PEC as mentioned was too strong for Roda JC Kerkrade 3-1 in front of their own crowd.
After 37 rounds of play, Heracles and PEC Zwolle both have 82 points. The leader’s goal difference of 59 is just a bit higher than PEC’s (55).
The standings in the premier league
For NEC, the playoffs for European soccer are further out of sight after the 4-0 defeat at FC Twente.
It’s done in Enschede, where FC Twente spoiled its crowd with a gala performance and a 4-0 win over NEC. With the brief interruption due to the cups of beer on the pitch as a minus.
Watch the summary of FC Twente – NEC
TWE-NEC | 83′ GOAL TWENTE
Substitute Van Wolfswinkel also picks up his goal. He runs in a free kick from Cerny for the 4-0 against NEC. With two assists and a goal, the Czech is in good shape tonight.
TWE-NEC | 76′ GOAL TWENTE
The home team is unstoppable tonight, making it 3-0 against NEC thanks to a fine goal by Misidjan.
Misidjan’s shot from the left side hits Van Wolfswinkel en route, the VAR takes a closer look to make sure it wasn’t with his hand, but the goal is approved.
TWE-NEC | 70′ Injury Vlap
At FC Twente, Vlap has to leave the field injured. He is replaced by Steijn, who scored FC Twente’s only goal against NEC in the 1-0 victory on the first match day.
Ugalde also goes to the side. His replacement is Van Wolfswinkel.
TWE-NEC | 64′ Speeches against Cillessen
Part of the FC Twente crowd has been chanting insulting speech choruses about NEC goalkeeper Cillessen for quite some time. It is now being shouted in the stadium that the fans must stop doing so.
TWE-NEC | 62′ Match resumed
FC Twente and NEC players are back on the pitch and the match has resumed! FC Twente leads 2-0 against NEC, there is still half an hour to play.
TWE-NEC | 62′ Match halted
Immediately after FC Twente’s goal, beer is thrown onto the pitch. Referee Makkelie temporarily halts the match.
It involves, if we look closely at the replay, two cups of beer.
Makkelie had to temporarily interrupt the game according to the KNVB’s tightened rules. “I didn’t see myself that at least one cup was thrown,” the referee told ESPN. “But my assistant did and so did the VAR. Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen could only just avoid that cup. This is just a signal. We agreed we don’t want this. Everyone has asked for this approach. So we have to follow the rules.”
TWE-NEC | 61′ GOAL TWENTE
NEC misses a great chance for the equalizer and in the counterpunch Misidjan makes it 2-0 for FC Twente.
After a sparse NEC attack Dimata thinks he can tap the ball in, but Unnerstall saves with his hand. In the transition Cerny, maker of the 1-0, conjures a beautiful pass to Misidjan. He did not fail to get in front of Cillessen and signed for the 2-0.
TWE-NEC | 53′ Twente is in control
NEC started the second half with good spirits and offensive intentions, but Twente quickly regained control. Among other things, we saw a distance shot by Vlap that was artfully changed direction by Pleguezuelo en route. But Cillessen was alert.
A few minutes later Midisjan got a huge header chance, but he nodded the ball wide.
The ball is rolling again in Enschede. Both teams started the second half unchanged.
Meanwhile in the Keuken Kampioen Divisie
A complete round of play is scheduled in the first division tonight. The battle for the title is blood-curdling in the KKD, as Heracles and PEC both have 79 points. The Almelmoërs do have a slightly better goal difference.
PEC Zwolle holds a 1-0 lead at home against Roda JC at halftime. At NAC Breda-Heracles the scoreboard reads glasses. If it stays that way, PEC would take over the lead again, with one game to go.
After a minute of injury time, it’s halftime. Both teams go into the locker rooms for a cup of tea. Twente deservedly leads 1-0.
In the closing stages, Ugalde thought he could net another penalty for Twente, but referee Makkelie could not get his Schwalbe did not appreciate and presented the Costa Rican with a yellow card.
TWE-NEC | 38′ GOAL TWENTE
Cerny heads Twente into a deserved 1-0 lead against NEC. After good cross work by Misidjan, a cross follows, which the Czech heads hard on goal. Cillessen has no chance.
TWE-NEC | 33′ Swabbing ball Tannane
It’s Twente that is punching the clock, but after more than half an hour we see the best moment for NEC. Pröpper fouls (and gets yellow), the free kick from about 25 meters is fired by Tannane cuttingly hard and swabbing at goal.
Unnerstall has a lot of trouble with the ball, but manages to squeeze it out of the goal. In the rebound Mattson kicks over.
TWE-NEC | 23′ Twente dominates, anniversary card Tannane
Halfway through the first half, the picture of the game is the same: FC Twente is in control and on the attack, NEC has difficulty keeping up with the high tempo of the Enschedeans.
The first yellow card of the match is for NEC’s Tannane after a foul on Misidjan. It is an anniversary card, as it is the 40th for Tannane in the premier league. This season he already stands at seven. That is not a personal record: in the 2020/2021 season he collected nine cards.
TWE-NEC | 11′ Cillessen saves handsomely
A few minutes after his almost fatal miss, Cillessen shows that he can still be an excellent goalkeeper as well. Brenet dives in front of the goalkeeper after a nice combination, but Cillessen saves cleverly. Ugalde just can’t reach the rebound.
FC Twente got off to a difficult start, but have now surrounded the Nijmegen goal. One chance now follows another.
TWE-NEC | 6′ Cillessen in trouble again
Oh oh Jasper Cillessen … there goes the Orange goalkeeper almost making another huge mistake. He has the ball at his feet and doesn’t seem to realize that Ugalde is rushing in, and shoots against the NEC attacker. The ball – fortunately for Cillessen – does not carambol into the goal.
These have not been the happiest weeks for Cillessen. Last week he blundered against Heerenveen, resulting in a goal.
AFTRAP – The ball is rolling in Enschede
Half a minute later there is already a great chance for NEC: the ball lands at the feet of Schöne after a smooth attack immediately after the kickoff, and the captain pops just wide.
What is it all about?
FC Twente is fifth with 55 points. Fourth place seems impregnable and Twente is already sure of the playoffs for European soccer.
NEC is the number ten with 38 points. The eighth place gives the right to European play-offs, which the Nijmegen players are three points away from. The stakes are high for NEC.
Fraser in talks with RKC, but has not signed yet
Henk Fraser is emphatically in the picture to become the new coach of RKC Waalwijk. The Waalwijkers are looking for a new coach for next season because Joseph Oosting is leaving for FC Twente.
Various media report today that Fraser has even already signed a contract with RKC, but it is not that far yet, Fraser reports to NOS. He confirms he is in talks, but has not yet signed.
Witsel quits as Red Devil
Axel Witsel is retiring from Belgium’s national soccer team after 130 international matches. The 34-year-old midfielder no longer played a leading role in the plans of the Red Devils’ new national coach Domenico Tedesco.
Eden Hazard, Toby Alderweireld and Simon Mignolet also said goodbye to their national team after a disappointing World Cup in Qatar. They were long part of a golden generation of Belgian footballers who never won a top prize. Vincent Kompany, Marouane Fellaini, Thomas Vermaelen and Mousa Dembélé said goodbye earlier.
Formations FC Twente-NEC (kickoff 8 p.m.)
The 32nd playing round of the premier league will kick off at 8 p.m. with the duel between FC Twente and NEC. These are the lineups.
Feyenoord receives hefty cash penalty from UEFA again
Feyenoord has received another hefty fine from UEFA. The likely-to-be champion must transfer a total of 39,625 euros to the European Football Association.
UEFA is punishing Feyenoord for several incidents during the home match against AS Roma in the quarter-finals of the Europa League. Feyenoord must pay €30,000 because during the match not everyone was seated in their seats, causing stairs in the stands to be blocked. Fireworks were also set off (5,500 euros) and objects landed on the pitch (and that’s 4,125 euros).
Feyenoord was eliminated by AS Roma in the quarter-finals. Fans of the club from Rotterdam were not welcome at the return in the capital of Italy. Feyenoord also received many fines from UEFA last season for incidents with supporters around European matches.
Guardiola positive about Aké’s recovery
Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola is positive about Nathan Aké’s recovery. “He is really doing much better,” he said at a press conference ahead of Sunday’s league game with Everton. “We will go back to training in a moment and then we might know more.”
Aké was injured during a league game with Leeds United last week. He missed Tuesday’s away game against Real Madrid in the semifinals of the Champions League. Both teams will play a decisive game on Wednesday for a spot in the final of the king of European soccer. It is possible Aké will be deployable again then.
Manchester City leads the Premier League with a one-point lead over Arsenal, which has played one more game. Arsenal will play Brighton &Hove Albion in front of their own crowd on Sunday.
Simons switches agents
It is still unclear whether Xavi Simons will continue to play in the PSV shirt next season. According to transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, the Eindhoven side’s talented attacking midfielder has in any case taken on a new agent: Briton Darren Dein.
Dein owns real estate agency DOUBLED. The 20-year-old Simons is one stroke the most important footballer from the stable of the broker, who otherwise has a number of resounding names from the past in under contract.
Dein was also responsible in the past for the mega deal between FC Barcelona and music streaming service Spotify.
Simons still has a commitment at PSV through 2027, but can return to Paris Saint-Germain on his own initiative for a limited transfer fee. In turn, PSV hopes to keep Simons in Eindhoven with an improved contract.
Feyenoord warns of black market
Feyenoord announces it will make short work of black-market ticket sales for next Sunday’s championship match against Go Ahead Eagles.
The club has now found that many tickets for the sold-out game are being offered “illegally.”
“Meanwhile, several illegal ticket providers have already been identified. The tickets in question have been blocked and therefore no longer provide access to the match. The providers will also be nominated for a stadium ban at the KNVB,” Feyenoord reported.
“Supporters are emphatically advised with this in mind not to purchase tickets through external providers or online sales services such as Marktplaats. The Feyenoord Ticket Exchange is the only legal auction site to sell admission tickets.”
Messi back in PSG squad
Lionel Messi returns after a week of internal suspension after missing training due to promotional work in Saudi Arabia. Initially, the suspension was for two weeks.
PSG coach Christophe Galtier explains.
PSG coach Galtier on Messi’s earlier return: ‘He was determined to play’
Pasveer also with Ajax next season
Goalkeeper Remko Pasveer will belong to the Ajax selection next season as well. The 39-year-old reserve goalkeeper has reached an agreement with the Amsterdam club on a new contract.
Pasveer has played for Ajax since 2021 and even made the World Cup selection of the Dutch national team based on his performance at the club.
The Tukker played in the past for FC Twente, Heracles Almelo, Go Ahead Eagles, PSV and Vitesse.
Madueke bids farewell to PSV on Sunday
Noni Madueke will say goodbye to the Eindhoven club’s supporters Sunday night at halftime of PSV-Fortuna Sittard. The English striker left PSV in the winter break for a fee of about 35 million euros to Chelsea.
The 21-year-old Madueke has played eight games for Chelsea since his departure from PSV, striking once.
Feyenoord misses Trauner in championship match
Feyenoord are looking forward to the championship match against Go Ahead Eagles with an almost fit squad. Trainer Arne Slot is only unable to call on the injured Gernot Trauner. The injured Patrik Walemark and Mimeirhel Benita are out of action this season.
Trauner was also a base player for Feyenoord this season. “For him it is incredibly unfortunate that he is not here,” Slot said. “And for us as well, because we liked having him there. But unfortunately it’s no different. We have to do it without him.”
Coach Slot still silent on future at Feyenoord
Coach Arne Slot does not want to look into the future ahead of Feyenoord’s championship match Sunday against Go Ahead Eagles. “I am now only concerned with that match,” the coach said before stressing that he is under contract with the Rotterdam club for two more seasons.
Slot has been head coach of Feyenoord for almost two full seasons. Under his leadership, the club has climbed from fifth to first place in the league table. He guided his team to the Conference League final last season and last month stranded Feyenoord in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Slot’s performance has also caught the eye abroad. English newspapers have been linking him with Tottenham Hotspur for weeks. However, trainers Xabi Alonso, Mauricio Pochettino and Julian Nagelsmann are also said to be in the picture at the wealthy London club. Last week, German media reported that Eintracht Frankfurt would be interested in the successful Feyenoord coach.
Berghuis and Kudus likely to be fit for away match with Groningen
Ajax coach John Heitinga is expected to have Steven Berghuis and Mohammed Kudus back on Sunday for the away game against relegated FC Groningen (kickoff 2:30 p.m.).
Berghuis was injured in the lost cup final against PSV and missed the home game against AZ (0-0). The striker participated for the most part in training today, Heitinga told the press conference.
Kudus made his comeback against AZ after a hamstring injury and does not appear to have suffered any setback from it.
Heitinga: ‘No news yet’
According to Heitinga, there is nothing new to report yet about his position for next season. “It is important to look at the long term, but if there is news to report, then we will. I speak regularly with Mislintat (the new technical director, ed.).
“We didn’t talk about the fact that I would be in pole position for next season. We did talk about next season’s selection. But as long as I don’t hear anything, I’ll be trainer of Ajax.”
New trainer or not, Heitinga likes to think along ‘critically’
Slot: ‘Sunday will be exciting, but approach the same’
Arne Slot does not detect any tension or anything similar that could throw the Feyenoord squad off balance ahead of Sunday’s championship match against Go Ahead Eagles.
“It is exciting, but we do approach it like any other match,” said the coach. You taste excitement at several clubs right now. For example, Go Ahead is still playing for playoffs for European soccer. That is a different pressure than being able to become champion or not.”
“But that doesn’t mean that on the training pitch very different things are visible among the players. Then we would have to intervene quickly, but we haven’t seen that.”
Slot added that he does not plan to go to a hotel with the Feyenoord squad this weekend. “We never do that with home games, unless it’s European soccer or cup soccer. So now we won’t do that either.”
‘Experiences of Santiago not used’
Feyenoord striker Santiago Gimenez celebrated the Mexican title with Cruz Azul in 2021. “It’s not like I throw Santiago in front of the group and have him tell me how something like that works. Every situation is different after all,” Slot said.
“The players just have to play the game against Go Ahead the way they did in the previous 31 games: very fanatical and very aggressive.”
Feyenoord will play Go Ahead Eagles next Sunday at 4:45 p.m. at De Kuip. A win will secure Feyenoord the championship.
Slot ahead of championship match: ‘This is not business as usual’
Messi back at Paris Saint-Germain
Lionel Messi will ‘just’ be in the starting lineup at Paris Saint-Germain tomorrow in the league match against Ajaccio. So says his coach Christophe Galtier.
Last week, Messi missed a PSG training session because he had left for Saudi Arabia for promotion work. Following that, the Argentine was initially suspended for two weeks by the Paris club. Now, nevertheless, he returns to the match sheet a week early, and even in the starting lineup.
Galtier: “I spoke to Messi on Tuesday to see how he was in it, and I thought he was very determined to play. He will start tomorrow.”
Van Nistelrooij: ‘Scoop it up against Fortuna’
PSV needs to win Sunday from Fortuna Sittard (kickoff 8 p.m.) to be one step closer to securing second place.
Coach Ruud van Nistelrooij insists that PSV, now unbeaten 14 games in a row, must stay focused. “There must be no slackening now and maybe now Sunday we have to step it up,” the Brabander said at the press conference.
Van Nistelrooij is proud of the series he has put up with PSV, though. “We have managed to keep everyone on board, keep them sharp. We also keep the players involved who don’t get to play or don’t get to play much,” he said.
“We also see in games that we can bring in strong players even on the bench, to turn a game around. That is also a compliment to the team and the staff.”
‘Still disappointed about Fortuna away’
The away game against Fortuna was one of the banana peels PSV slipped on this season. PSV failed to decide that match early by killing many chances and saw Fortuna draw (2-2) in injury time.
When I think back on that, I’m still disappointed. We lost two points there then. It’s important to wash away that disappointment on Sunday,” Van Nistelrooij said.
Van Nistelrooij feels that frontrunners Feyenoord have had far fewer slip-ups this season, as PSV experienced in January Sittard
“You see it with Feyenoord: you just have to turn a complete season now to become champion. You just can’t lose more than x number of points, whether in the toppers or in other matches.”
Van Nistelrooij guards against PSV slackening: ‘Against Fortuna scoop on top’
Journalists: Haaland and Kerr player of the year
Erling Haaland of Manchester City has been named player of the year by the English Association of Football Journalists. Among women, Sam Kerr of Chelsea won the annual election.
The 22-year-old Haaland, who has already scored 51 goals this season, received a whopping 82 percent of the votes. Arsenal players Bukayo Saka and Martin Ødegaard came second and third, respectively.
Kerr best again
Australian Kerr was named best player for the second year in a row. Rachel Daly (Aston Villa) and Lauren James (Chelsea) finished in second and third place. The awards ceremony is on May 25.
The prestigious pageant has been held since the 1947-1948 season. Last season, Mohamed Salah of Liverpool was declared the winner.
Frans Thijssen, Dennis Bergkamp and Robin van Persie are the only Dutchmen to have been voted best player of the year by English soccer journalists in the past.
The election among women, held since the 2017-2018 season, was won three years ago by Vivianne Miedema of Arsenal.
The Orange’s all-time top scorer missed much of the current season due to a torn cruciate ligament.
Feyenoord fans look forward to championship: ‘Not as fraught as 2017, much crazier though’
Sunday it has to happen: the sixteenth national title for Feyenoord. Rotterdam is totally ready for it, as the reactions on the streets show. City poet Mark Boninsegna has even written a special poem.
Feyenoord fans look forward to championship: ‘Not as fraught as 2017, much crazier though’
Hazard likely to make return to PSV squad
If he does not suffer a setback, Thorgan Hazard will make his return to PSV’s squad this weekend for Sunday night’s home game with Fortuna Sittard (kickoff 8 p.m.).
The Belgian striker suffered an ankle injury after PSV’s cup final against Ajax and therefore missed the league match with Sparta, but is now fit enough again.
The longer injured Mauro Júnior (knee), Armando Obispo (knee) and Ismael Saibari are missing for next Sunday, however.
Feyenoord is heading for the national title, PSV is firmly in second place and SC Cambuur and FC Groningen have now been relegated.
So where is the excitement in the premier league right now?
The battle between Ajax and AZ for third place, which entitles them to a place in the preliminary round of the Europa League, is alive and well. Fourth place is good for a place in the third preliminary round of the Conference League.
Places five through eight are entitled to a spot in the playoffs for a ticket into the second preliminary round in the Conference League.
FC Twente (5), Sparta (6) and FC Utrecht (7) are now the designated candidates, but the battle for place eight has not yet been decided. RKC (41 points), sc Heerenveen (41) and NEC (38) now have the most claim to the fourth a final ticket.
At the bottom, Execelsior, FC Emmen, FC Volendam and Vitesse hope to avoid the sixteenth place. The club that finishes sixteenth will have to play playoffs for promotion/degradation.
Rotterdam municipality: give children free for champions party
The municipality of Rotterdam has asked schools to allow primary and secondary school students to attend Feyenoord’s possible championship celebration on Monday.
The city council agreed to the motion tabled by D66 and GroenLinks. 27 people voted in favor, 12 voted against.
“The inauguration is a wonderful celebration that young and old should be able to attend,” GroenLinks council member Judith Bokhove told the AD. “This way we also prevent truancy, and excuses like ‘sick’.”
The motion did not pass without a fight, by the way, writes the AD.
Education alderman Said Kasmi initially opposed the plan because he felt that the city council should not interfere in such matters. The VVD agreed, but Kasmi’s own party, D66, was behind the call.
The inauguration is scheduled for Monday afternoon at noon on Coolsingel.
Burger gets new coach at Basel
Wouter Burger will get a new trainer at FC Basel starting next season. German Timo Schultz will then go to work as the Swiss club’s new trainer. Schultz signed a contract for two years.
The German will succeed interim coach Heiko Vogel, who is in charge of FC Basel following the dismissal of Alex Frei. Former soccer player Schultz worked at St. Pauli until the end of December.
Basel won the first game in the Conference League semifinals against and at Fiorentina (1-2) on Thursday.
Bielsa new national coach of Uruguay
Uruguay’s soccer federation has appointed Argentine Marcelo Bielsa as the new national team coach. He will take charge of the national team through the 2026 World Cup.
Bielsa succeeds Diego Alonso, whose contract was not renewed after being eliminated in the group stage at last year’s World Cup in Qatar. The 67-year-old Bielsa will sit on Uruguay’s bench for the first time in two friendlies against Nicaragua and Cuba in June.
Bielsa previously worked as national coach with Argentina (1998-2004) and Chile (2007-2011). As a club coach, he was under contract to Athletic Club, Olympique Marseille and OSC Lille, among others. He led Leeds United back to the Premier League in 2020 after 16 years. Last February, he was sacked from the English club.
How are things actually going with…?
The former international is having a good season with Italian Genoa, with whom he forced promotion to the top level in Serie B.
We picked up the phone and discussed the good season of the former player of Sparta, FC Utrecht, PSV, AS Roma, Olympique Marseille and Cagliari, among others.
Burger close to final with FC Basel
Wouter Burger took a first step towards the Conference League final in Prague (June 7) on Thursday night with FC Basel.
The former defender of Feyenoord, Excelsior and Sparta won the away match at Fiorentina 2-1 with the Swiss club.
The return in Basel is next Thursday and the winner for that will meet AZ or West Ham United.
AZ buoyed by impressive European home series
The 2-1 defeat in London was a bummer for AZ, but anything is still possible at the return in Alkmaar. Indeed, the club can lean on an impressive statistic.
After all, AZ is already unbeaten in 25 European home games. AZ’s last European home defeat dates back to Feb. 16, 2017. when Olympique Lyonnais was too strong (1-4) in the Europa League.
Optimism at AZ despite defeat
The reactions at AZ were unanimous Thursday after the narrow defeat at West Ham United: this is a bit of a gulp, but in Alkmaar everything is still possible.
“All in all, the good feeling prevails,” defender Sam Beukema spoke afterwards. “With our supporters behind us we can put it right.”
Watch the reactions of coach Pascal Jansen, Sam Beukema and Tijjani Reijnders below:
AZ coach Jansen: ‘It’s rest now, going to prepare for second half’
Beukema also enjoying a bit in London: ‘Bit of goosebumps at the club song’
Goalkeeper Reijnders: ‘Missed chance, two game suspensions kill you’
Just not for AZ, but nothing lost yet
AZ looked set to surprise again in the Conference League at West Ham United on Thursday night, but the Alkmaarders could not hold on to a lead at the London Stadium and lost 2-1 after halftime.
The return is next Thursday at 9 p.m. in Alkmaar.
It is the weekend when Feyenoord-loving Holland hopes for the 16th national championship in the club’s history.
In this liveblog, we take an extensive look ahead to the championship match of the Rotterdammers, who meet Go Ahead Eagles at De Kuip on Sunday at 4:45 pm.
And how are PSV, Ajax and the still European active AZ doing?
We update you all the way here!