PSV closes turbulent week with win over AZ and ticket for preliminary round Champions League
Watch the summary of AZ – PSV
PSV ended an eventful week with a ticket to the third preliminary round of the Champions League. Without Ruud van Nistelrooij, who resigned this week, they triumphed at AZ (1-2) and that was enough to secure second place in the Eredivisie. Xavi Simons decided the game in injury time.
AZ could still climb to third place on the last matchday at the expense of Ajax, but it needed three points to do so. It failed to take advantage of the Amsterdammers’ loss at FC Twente, leaving the Alkmaarders to be satisfied with participation in the Conference League.
Simons was also behind the opening goal, which surprised no one. The striker, who has been so industrious this season, scored the opening goal after just over an hour of play, after a handy pass from Luuk de Jong.
For Simons it was already his eighteenth goal of the season, at that time one less than Eredivisie top scorer Anastasios Douvikas (FC Utrecht).
Before halftime, PSV could have opened the scoring through Guus Til, but on a pass from Patrick van Aanholt, the midfielder headed over in free position.
AZ didn’t let up throughout the match either. Before half-time, Vangelis Pavlidis and Tijjani Reijnders came close to a goal, just after the 0-1 Jesper Karlsson pounced on PSV goalkeeper Walter Benítez.
The perhaps deserved equalizer did eventually fall. Joey Veerman fouled AZ attacker Riechedly Bazoer in the penalty area and the ball went to the penalty spot. Karlsson took advantage of the opportunity.
Red for El Ghazi
In Alkmaar, everyone realized that a second goal would be needed to pass Ajax on the league table.
That scenario did not materialize, as PSV held firm, although Anwar El Ghazi was shown his second yellow card in injury time and AZ’s Pantelis Hatzidiakos headed over. Simons then made it 1-2 with his nineteenth major league goal.
Thus, the Eindhoven players ended a memorable season in second place, with winning the Johan Cruijff Schaal and the KNVB Cup as highlights. Then still with Van Nistelrooij, who will soon have a successor.