A much-changed PSV Eindhoven struggled to a 1-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam thanks to a late goal from substitute Donyell Malen.

Roger Schmidt caused a stir by deciding to rest a number of players for the clash against Sparta Rotterdam. Donyell Malen, Denzel Dumfries, Ibrahim Sangare, Yvon Mvogo, Philipp Max, Oscar Boscagli, Cody Gakpo, and Noni Madueke all dropped to the bench. Mario Gotze did return, while there was a first start for young American Ritchie Ledezma.

The first half in Eindhoven was one to instantly forget with PSV failing to register one shot on target. At the other end, Lennart Thy got a decent chance for Sparta, but couldn’t find the net.

Adrian Fein went close after an hour but his shot was brilliantly tipped over by Maduka Okoye. Schmidt then decided to turn to Malen, Madueke, and Gakpo.

In the 77th minute, Nick Viergever was kicked in the box and PSV were awarded a penalty. Malen stepped up and saw his spot-kick saved by Okoye, but he followed up to net on the rebound.

With four minutes left, Denzell Gravenberch should have equalised for Sparta after shrugging off Nick Viergever, but he blasted the ball high and wide from close range.

Sparta pushed late on but they could not find the equaliser as PSV held on for the victory, which sees them climb above Feyenoord into third. Sparta are tenth.




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