PSV Eindhoven are the 2017/18 Eredivisie champions after a 3-0 victory over 9-man Ajax in the Philips Stadion. 

The 133rd meeting between the two rivals was extra special on Sunday with PSV knowing a win would seal them the Eredivisie title with three games remaining. Phillip Cocu kept Gaston Pereiro in his eleven with Steven Bergwijn coming in for Bart Ramselaar. For Ajax, Joel Veltman returned at right-back.

The opening twenty minutes was lively with Ajax controlling possession but PSV pressed them into several errors and were dangerous on the counter-attack. Andre Onana saved well from Luuk de Jong, while at the other end, Jeroen Zoet was equal to an Hakim Ziyech effort.

In the 21st minute, the Philips Stadion erupted as PSV took the lead. Hirvinng Lozano found space on the edge of the box and although his shot was blocked on the line by Matthijs de Ligt, Pereiro followed up to tap-in.

Ajax had a great chance to equalise on the half-hour mark when Nicolas Tagliafico’s cross was met by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar a few yards from goal but the striker’s effort was kept out by Zoet. A few moments later, PSV should have made it 2-0 as De Jong met a free-kick but his header was weak and straight at Onana.

In the 39th minute, it was 2-0 with Joshua Brenet racing past Veltman before sending a cross for De Jong to nod the ball past a helpless Onana.

Erik Ten Hag changed his tactics at the break with Siem de Jong replacing Max Wober as Ajax went into the second half with a three-man defence. It didn’t have its desired effect as Steven Bergwijn’s low strike from the edge of the box made it 3-0 ten minutes after the break.

Ajax fans showed their frustration by lighting off firecrackers in the away end which caused the game to be paused for a minute. PSV also lost De Jong to a nasty hand injury caused in the build-up to the third goal, with Bart Ramselaar brought on.

David Neres came close to pulling one back for Ajax but he shot wide before seeing another effort kept out by Zoet. At the other end, substitute Derrick Luckassen forced Onana into a good low save.

With ten minutes to go the afternoon got worse for Ajax as Nicolas Tagliafico saw red after a second yellow card for a nasty challenge on Lozano. Moments later, Ajax were reduced to nine-men as Siem de Jong was shown a straight red for a late challenge on Santiago Arias.

Onana then stopped Ajax from being on the end of a drubbing with fine stops to deny Luckassen and Van Ginkel before the end.

The final whistle sounded on 90 minutes and the celebrations got underway in the Philips Stadion. Its a third title in four years for PSV Eindhoven. Ajax will now settle for second.




admin (7420 Posts)

Follow @Footballoranje_ on Twitter