PSV Eindhoven eventually overcame a battling Utrecht 3-1 in the Philips Stadion thanks to an inspired double substitution from coach Phillip Cocu.

PSV UTIt seemed PSV were in for an easy afternoon when Hector Moreno smashed Andres Guardado’s cross into the bottom corner after only two minutes. However PSV failed to put the game to bed after the early goal as Robbin Ruiter saved a Jurgen Locadia volley and Luuk de Jong’s bicycle kick hit the bar.

At the other end Utrecht caused the home defence problems but Sebastien Haller fired a great chance into the side netting, while Nacer Barazite was also wasteful in front of goal. Four minutes into the second half though Utrecht were level through Bart Ramselaar, who beat Jeroen Zoet after Nacar Barazite had initially hit the post.

The away side tasted an unlikely victory after the equaliser and Haller came withing inches of giving them the lead as unrest swirled round the Philips Stadion.

Coach Phillip Cocu reacted to remove the ineffective Luciano Narsingh and Adam Maher, who was subject to jeers from the home support, and in their place came Gaston Pereiro and Jorrit Hendrix. The substitutions worked a treat as Pereiro turned provider after only four minutes on the pitch to set up Santiago Arias, who fired into the bottom corner.

Six minutes later PSV were awarded a penalty after a handball from Mark van der Maarel, but Luuk de Jong’s spot kick was kept out by Robbin Ruiter. De Jong eventually made up for that miss on 72 minutes, finishing off Jurgen Locadia’s cross to make it 3-1 and seal the victory.

Pereiro could have capped off an impressive cameo before the end but his strike cannoned off the woodwork.

The victory moves PSV temporarily up to second in the table before the Feyenoord v Ajax tie while Utrecht remain ninth.




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