PSV Eindhoven came from behind to record a 3-1 victory over Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena and gain the first real blow in the race for the Eredivisie title.

  • By Michael Bell
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111psvPSV Eindhoven wen’t into the game against Ajax having not triumphed at the Amsterdam Arena since 2008, while the champions were on a 24- league match unbeaten run. However after Anwar El Ghazi had given Ajax the lead, goals from Memphis Depay, Luciano Narsingh, and Florian Jozefzoon handed PSV a priceless win.

The match began at a breathtaking pace, and there was chances at both ends, with Davy Klaassen forcing Jeroen Zoet into a good save from a header, while at the other end Jasper Cillessen made a comfortable stop from Georginio Wijnaldum.

The opening goal came on 16 minutes, as Davy Klaassen’s excellent through ball was headed over Zoet, and into the net by Anwar El Ghazi, making his first start for Ajax, with the goal similar in many ways to Robin van Persie’s salmon diving header against Spain.

It could have been 2-0 soon after, but after making a determined run through the PSV defence, Nicolai Boilesen’s shot was saved by Zoet, and Klaassen could only fire the rebound at Karim Rekik. PSV right back Joshua Brenet breathed a sigh of relief before the break, as his attempted clearance from El Ghazi’s cross screwed just wide of his own goal.

Minutes after the break Lasse Schone wasted a great chance to net Ajax’s second, and PSV made them pay as on 55 minutes a swift counter attack saw Luuk de Jong play in Luciano Narsingh on the right, and the winger showed great awareness to square to the unmarked Memphis Depay, who tapped in for his fifth of the season.

Ajax pushed looking to regain the lead, but this left space open at the back, and on 63 minutes, Luciano Narsingh raced through from De Jong’s through ball before calmly slotting into the corner to make it 2-1.

Niklas Moisander should have equalised for Ajax, but the defender blazed over the bar with only Zoet to beat, and with four minutes to go, PSV sealed the win. A long ball forward from Zoet was not dealt with by Joel Veltman or Daley Blind, and substitute Florian Jozefzoon raced through to score.

PSV wanted to lay down a marker in Amsterdam, and beating the champions in their own back yard will give huge confidence to Phillip Cocu’s side. However it is worth remembering that at a similar time last season, PSV beat Ajax 4-0 before seeing their title challenge fall apart spectacularly, and Cocu will need his side to maintain this level until May if they are to triumph.

Ajax will now face an uncertain week, as rumours surrounding the future of key midfielder Daley Blind continue to make the headlines. If Blind leaves before the window shuts next week, and Ajax fail to sign a new forward, the Amsterdam club may be unable to challenge the formidable looking PSV.

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