At the start of the Eredivisie season, PSV fans certainly would not have been thinking that after 19 rounds they would be out of the title race. However it has become reality.

  • By Leo Walker
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sigIn the fixture which concluded the returning weekend after the winter break, it was Ajax who would install further pressure on Phillip Cocu after defeating PSV 1-0. It was certainly a game of two halves in the Amsterdam Arena as PSV had the better of the exchanges in the first 45mins, however lacked any clinical quality. Ajax felt relieved to hear the referees whistle to signal half time and after the raff of Frank de Boer at the break, a different Ajax side came out and Sightorrson scored the crucial winner. The Champions were unlucky not to win by more in the end as they returned to the top of the league as they seek their 4th title in a row.

Ajax had pressure on them heading into the tie, after their title rivals all recorded victories. The most emphatic of those victories was Ronald Koemans Feyenoord who, on the road, inflicted a 5-2 defeat to FC Utrecht. In a roller coaster first half the hosts would take the lead before two quick goals on the reply by Feyenoord. FC Utrecht then equalised to make it four goals in under ten minutes before Stefan de Vrij ensured that the Rotterdammers would go in at the break 3-2 up. The second half was dominated by Feyenoord and they scored two further goals to ensure a dominant victory in what was their first time they scored five goals away from home in an Eredivisie fixture since November of 2006.

FC Twente initially got the round underway on Friday evening and they temporarily went to the top of the league after a comfortable 3-1 victory over Heracles at the Grolsch Veste Stadion. Although the ten men of Heracles did reduce the deficits to one goal with 15 mins remaining the win for the hosts was never in doubt and it was confirmed when Dusan Tadic scored from the spot. It was not so plain sailing for Vitesse however as they had to rely on a last minute winner in Zwolle to record a 2-1 victory on Saturday evening. It was goals at either end for Vitesse that would see them temporarily return to the top and goals from Chelsea loanees Christian Atsu and left back Patrick van Aanholt.

The bottom of the league has become congested with the bottom five now separated by just five points after NEC Nijmegen recorded just their fourth victory of the season against relegation rivals ADO Den Haag when they started the action on Sunday. The game was marred by controversial decisions with one goal disallowed, two penalties awarded, with the NEC penalty wrongly given when the foul took place a yard outside the box. The visiting ADO side managed to equalise minutes after NEC led, but they offered very little throughout the remainder of the game as NEC recorded a 3-1 victory. The win for NEC Nijmegen has seen them leapfrog their opponents with ADO Den Haag now rooted to the foot of the table and the fans expressions at the end of the game summed up the worries for the club and the challenges they face for the remainder if the season.

In Friesland on Saturday evening Jon Dahl Tomasson
took his first competitive game in charge of Roda JC as they faced a difficult tie away at sc Heerenveen. Within 12 minutes the home side led through Hakim Ziyech before Guus Hupperts scored the first of his brace to level. Alfred Finnbogason restored sc Heerenveen’s lead from the spot just after the hour mark before Guus Hupperts equalised to earn a respectable point in Jon Dahl Tomasson’s first game, though due to results going against them at the end of the round they find themselves in the bottom three.

FC Groningen are 6th in the Eredivisie, one place below sc Heerenveen, after they were held to a 1-1 draw away at RKC Waalwijk on Saturday evening. The Green and White army led after 30 mins before they were reduced to ten men on the hour mark when debutant Hans Hateboer was dismissed. When the ten men visitors were hanging on to their one goal lead, with eight minutes remaining, RKC Waalwijk were awarded a penalty which was dispatched by Evander Sno, scoring his second goal for the club, which ensured they extended their unbeaten run to 6 games and are just above the bottom three zone.

In the battle of the newly promoted clubs, SC Cambuur recorded a vital 2-0 victory over the Go Ahead Eagles, a win which has seen the Eerste Divisie Champions lift out of the bottom three as they look to avoid an imminent return to the second tier Dutch Football. It was the goal of the weekend by Marcel Ritzmaier that set SC Cambuur on the way to three points, and the maximum points were guaranteed when Martijn Barton doubled the lead.

Sitting below FC Groningen is AZ Alkmaar who ended their seven winless game drought in the Eredivisie by inflicting a comfortable 3-0 victory over NAC Breda. Steven Berghuis scored a brace either side of Aron Johansson’s strike just before the half time whistle. The victory for AZ Alkmaar was much needed after the former league leaders and take contenders look to get their season back on track.

Leo Walker (36 Posts)