Eredivisie Roundup: Not sure if PSV or 2014 Germany, Ajax and Feyenoord slip again

Eredivisie

Saturday

Heerenveen travelled to Tilburg on Saturday to face lowly Willem II, but despite the away side’s confidence it was the latter that took the lead early on. In the twelfth minute, Thom Haye’s threaded pass split the defence and resulted in a tap in for Elmo Lieftink after a cross was deflected. Heerenveen proceeded to control the game and found an equaliser through Stijn Schaars’ free kick late in the half.

Heerenveen completed the comeback on the hour mark, as midfielder Yuki Kobayashi took aim at goal from deep and found the back of the net. Heerenveen are the only side in the Eredivisie yet to lose a match and their performance was indicative of just why that is. Jurgen Streppel’s men possess the fight it takes to compete at the top of the table – now they’re in second place. Willem II continue to flounder in 17th with only three points to their name.


Heracles’ match against Roda started in a similar fashion – the underdogs going ahead early. Roda JC hadn’t registered a point before they went ahead in the fifth minute from Mitchel Paulissen’s header. Heracles pinned down the away side though, restricting Roda to only 32% possession throughout the match. Early in the second half, Heracles’ Robin Pröpper scored a volley to draw things level only seconds after his header had struck the post.

Heracles kept pushing without any reward, but a beautiful moment ensued in the 92nd minute when Reuven Niemeijer crossed the ball low to the foot of Vincent Vermeij, who tapped a shot in from close range. The feeling inside the Polman Stadion was of jubilation, and Vermeij was emotionally moved as well. It’s Heracles’ first win of the season, while Roda will be depressed after missing their chance to finally gain a point in the final minute.


One of the most intriguing results of the weekend has to be Feyenoord against NAC Breda at De Kuip. Both sides – the Champions and the newly-promoted – had good chances early on, but neither side could convert. That was, until the 33rd minute as Thierry Ambrose’s header found Giovanni Korte all alone in front of goal. The forward’s goal stunned the Rotterdam crowd, but they still believed in their side.

The home side, who controlled an astonishing 72% possession, looked to have found their breakthrough in the 73rd minute when Sofyan Amrabat won a penalty. Michiel Kramer’s low penalty was surprisingly saved by Mark Birighitti, and the follow-up shot from the rebound was also saved. Feyenoord’s chances of recovering were blundered when, in the 87th minute, goalkeeper Brad Jones miscued a dribble which allowed Thomas Enevoldsen to pounce on it and slide the ball into the net – 0-2. It’s Feyenoord’s second loss on the bounce after a perfect start to the season, but there seems to be some trouble brewing within the now fourth-placed club. On the contrary, that’s NAC’s second win on the bounce.


ADO Den Haag continued their good form on Saturday by narrowly defeating Sparta Rotterdam. It was quite the even affair between two sides looking for a mid-table finish by the season’s end, but it was Den Haag who got on the board in the 50th minute. Sheraldo Becker’s cross drifted all the way past goal, where it was picked up by Abdenasser El Khayati. The midfielder took his man on one-on-one, finally slipping a shot past an unknowing Roy Kortsmit.

Minutes later, Kortsmit had a magical moment of his own. The goalkeeper managed to stop the ball from entering his net four times within seconds. Despite all of the plaudits he’s received over the weekend, it wasn’t enough to help Sparta win the match. ADO remain in 14th but have collected 7 points from their last three matches, while Sparta drop to 15th on five points.


Sunday

When PSV rolled into Utrecht to face off against one of the Eredivisie’s toughest teams to face, lots were expecting them to find it difficult. The visitors certainly did – for 40 minutes. In the 15th minute, Hirving Lozano’s saved shot rebounded to Jürgen Locadia, who obliged the chance with a well-taken goal. Utrecht was awarded a penalty six minutes later though, and Zakaria Labyad finished it with aplomb. However, it all went downhill from that point on for Utrecht.

In the 40th, Locadia found Lozano via a cross in front of goal. Right after halftime, it was Lozano who found Locadia in open space with a dinked ball past the lines – just onside. Locadia took a few touches and found himself 1v1 with David Jensen, and the Dutch striker found the net despite the keeper getting a touch on the ball. The fourth goal was a hat-trick for Locadia: a great through ball by Jorrit Hendrix and class finish by the forward.

PSV continued to pour on the misery past the 80th minute with two penalties – one from Marco van Ginkel and the second from Locadia himself. The seventh and final goal came late on thanks to Steven Bergwijn. It was a mazy run past multiple defenders by the substitute winger that ended with him rounding the keeper and scoring. The major capitulation means that Utrecht drop down to 8th, but PSV will be especially happy with the victory since they are now the sole Eredivisie leaders following Feyenoord’s loss. What a performance by Phillip Cocu’s men!


PEC Zwolle and VVV-Venlo couldn’t be separated on the day at the MAC³PARK stadion on Sunday. Zwolle controlled a lot of the game but both sides had good chances – the first goal coming from Zwolle defender Kingsley Ehizibue following a corner in the 30th minute. VVV equalised in the second half from Clint Leemans’ curling free kick, and that’s where the scores remained until full time. Both Zwolle and VVV remain in very good positions after this weekend, 6th and 8th respectively.


FC Twente fought hard for their second win in a row, but Groningen pulled away as victors at home. The tight affair was differentiated only by one goal – Oussama Idrissi’s header in the 51st minute following Ritsu Doan’s blocked shot. Twente pushed for an equalizer but couldn’t find one, despite the fact that they had more shots on target (5) than Groningen’s three. Groningen remain comfortably mid-table, but Twente still have only three points this season.


Ajax Amsterdam lost for the first time in this Eredivisie season on Sunday against an in-form Vitesse. The Ajax defence simply couldn’t cope with the quick, direct play from the visitors and went 0-1 down in the 21st minute thanks to Guram Kashia’s header from Thomas Brun’s free kick. In first half added time, Milot Rashica sprinted down the right flank before cutting inside and scoring a low drive with his weaker left foot.

Ajax pushed on but Marcel Keizer’s men couldn’t find a goal until the 83rd minute. Hakim Ziyech’s cross was allowed to bounce right in front of goal and Nick Viergever was the first to get his boot on it. However, it was too little too late for Ajax, who now drop down to 7th place. Vitesse, on the other hand, have picked up some very good results and find themselves in third.


Excelsior managed a surprising victory away at AZ Alkmaar in the final game of Match Week 6. The fashion of victory was quite strange: two penalties within 8 minutes, both from Luigi Bruins. Both penalties were won by Bruins – the first after some dribbling skills to get past his man, and the second from a run in behind the defensive line that forced Ron Vlaar to take him down. Both spot kicks were executed coolly, one to the bottom right and the other to the bottom left.

Despite controlling much of the match, both on the ball and in terms of shots, AZ never quite found a breakthrough. Excelsior have risen up to 12th while AZ have lost for the first time since the first weekend.


Player of the Week: Jürgen Locadia (PSV) – 4 goals, 1 assist.

Result of the Week: PSV – 7-1 win at Utrecht.

Disappointment of the Week: FC Utrecht – 7-1 loss against PSV.


It was quite the exciting weekend to be a fan of Dutch football. Feyenoord and Ajax were both upset and seem to be hitting a rough patch of form. PSV, the club many doubted would be able to mount a chance against the ‘Top 2’, have clearly been the strongest side thus far. Heerenveen and Vitesse also look very strong – not to mention the fact that Vitesse have a chance to do some great things in the Europa League this season.

For article updates, questions, or if you’d just like to chat, make sure to follow me on Twitter @adiek22. Thanks for reading and have a great week!