Article courtesy of Total Dutch Football
It was goals galore this weekend in the Holland’s top league with a total of 39 goals scored. Feyenoord smashed six past Heracles and second-placed PSV keep a little pressure on with a first-half demolition of Groningen. The main story will be that Frank de Boer’s Ajax have one hand on the Eredivisie shield after a scrappy 2-0 win away to NAC Breda, making themselves, four points clear of PSV with only two rounds of games to go.
AZ Alkmaar 4 (Altidore 29, 65, Beerens 32, Gudmundsson 62)
With AZ coach and leader Gertjan Verbeek sitting in the stands due to a suspension many pundits would have wrote off their chances of defeating a strong Heerenveen side who have won six of their last eight games with only one defeat. The Cheese Farmers proved those pundits wrong in the Friday night and thumped Van Basten’s men by four goals.
Without the creativity of seasoning Filip Djuricic, who also sat in the stands with a hamstring injury, Heerenveen looked to have no inspiration or determination. Altidore grabbed the first goal after breaking the offside trap and getting goal side of central defender Jeffrey Gouweleeuw. The American placed a shot that forced a save out of goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt but the ball gratefully feel perfectly for Altidore’s head to nod the away team ahead.
Two minutes later, the lead was doubled. From the left, Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson whipped in a vicious ball to the back post where Roy Beerens was arriving to smash past Nordfeldt.
Heerenveen came out the second half looking for a revival, unfortunately for the home side, this was not produced and the game was all but finished just after the hour.
A great run by Guðmundsson ended by the Icelandic getting on the scoresheet after a cute little backheel from Altidore. The icing was put on the cake three minutes later after AZ were awarded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Altidore grabbed his second. The striker stepped up and took the free-kick quickly and curled it in the left top corner giving Nordfeldt no chance.
Heerenveen currently sit in seventh with a chance of making the Europa League next year through the playoffs while AZ are placed 11th and well out of the relegation trouble now.
PSV 5 (Matavz 4, Mertens 6P, Lens 13, 45, Van Bommel 41)
Groningen 2 (De Leeuw 56, 75)
Dick Advocaat’s PSV Eindhoven now appears only to be playing for a runners-up medal and UEFA Champions League qualification, even though they demolished FC Groningen by five goals to two. PSV scored all their goals in a dominating first half, with Slovenian striker Tim Matavz grabbing the first. After only four minutes, Dries Mertens played in Matavz and the Slovenian slotted home past Marco Bizot for his 11th goal of the league season. It was 2-0, just two minutes later with a Mertens scoring a penalty kick after Groningen’s Chilean full-back Stefano Magnasco clipped the heels of the Belgian winger.
Mertens was on fire and was the architect for the third goal after 13 minutes putting Jermaine Lens through to place home. Veteran Mark van Bommel, possibly leaving at the end of the season, got in on the act before half-time with a long range low drive into the Bizot’s left corner. The fifth and final PSV goal came on the stroke of half-time, with Mertens involved again. Busy goalkeeper Bizot could not hold onto Mertens’ free-kick and the ball fell fortunately for Lens to hit his second and his 16th of the Eredivisie season. Groningen earned some consolation after the break through a Michael De Leeuw double. The win cements PSV’s place in second with an amazing plus-60 goal difference.
- Mark moet blijven – Mark must stay!
Towards the end of the game the PSV crowd were incredibly vocal about the on-going status of whether or not van Bommel will stay at the Phillips Stadion. The message was crystal clear from the PSV fans, they want their captain to stick around another year, and his name was passionately sung by the Eindhoven faithful.
ADO Den Haag 1 (Van Duinen 84)
VVV Venlo 1 (Nwofor 14)
VVV Venlo can no longer secure automatic safety after they drew 1-1 at ADO on Saturday evening. VVV had led for the majority of the match through Nigerian striker Uche Nwofor only for Mike van Duinen to deliver a killer blow just six minutes from the end. VVV’s only expectation of survival is now through the relegation play-offs, with basement boys Willem II just four points adrift of the Pride of the South. Den Haag sit in tenth, five points of the Europa League playoffs spots.
Roda JC 3 (Zoet 50OG, Malki 64, Ramos 77OG)
RKC Waalwijk 1 (Boukhari 89)
Roda JC grabbed a crucial win in their fight against the drop as they beat RKC Waalwijk 3-1. On-loan goalkeeper Jeroen Zoet (from PSV) gifted Roda a 50th-minute opener and after Roda’s top scorer Sanharib Malki doubled the advantage the hosts were out of sight when the unfortunate Guy Ramos scored a second own goal. RKC occupy the final safety position in 15th with Roda sitting in a place below breathing down their necks just one point.
NAC Breda 0
Ajax 2 (Sigthorsson 47, Gilissen 52OG)
Ajax’s look to clinch their third consectutive league title next week at home to bottom club Willem II but they survived a scare against NAC on Saturday night. On nine minutes, NAC should have been in the lead after some fantastic tricky from Breda’s Elson Hooi. Hooi’s turned the Ajax defence into disarray and tried to placed a shot past returning Ajax goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer. Vermeer pulled out a stop but was stranded when the ball fell perfectly for Rick ten Voorde. Much to Ajax’s relief, ten Voorde smashed a shot into Lasse Schöne’s body from close range and the Rat Verlegh Stadion groaned with dismay as they knew it was a glorious chance missed to take the lead.
It must have been Ajax’s lucky day as they were saved by the woodwork from the resulting corner. Brazilian defender Eric Botteghin rose above both Belgian defender Toby Alderweireld and Vermeer to win the header which rattled off the crossbar and was scrambled clear by the panicking visitors. Ajax failed to get going and gained more luck after the break where Icelandic forward Kolbeinn Sigthorsson got on the end of a messy chance to place the league leaders ahead. A long ball sent over the top from Schöne was met by the chest of former Liverpool striker Ryan Babel. Babel held the ball up well and fed in Viktor Fischer and goalkeeper Jelle ten Rouwelaar saved the young Dane’s effort. The ball flicked up out of the NAC keeper’s hands and Sigthorsson pounced to flick the ball home.
The game was all but over just five minutes later. In-demand midfielder Christian Eriksen whipped in a corner and Siem de Jong’s front post header clipped off Tim Gilissen head and past ten Rouwelaar for 2-0.
Title rivals will need the unlikely event of a Willem II win at Amsterdam Arena next weekend otherwise the Eredivisie shield will once again be in Frank De Boer’s hands.
FC Twente 5 (Douglas 3, Castaignos 22, Chadli 47, Bengtsson 59, Gutierrez 90+2)
NEC 2 (Van der Velden 50, Falkenburg 90)
FC Twente scored as early as the third minute and completed their goals two minutes into injury times as they smashed NEC 5-2, which virtually declared the Nijmegen side out of the race for UEFA Europa League football next season.
Big burly Brazilian central defender Douglas headed in the first goal from a Tim Holscher corner. The lead was doubled on 22 minutes with young striker Luc Castaignos got on the end of man-of-the-match Nacer Chadli’s good work. Chadli helped himself to a goal after half-time to make it 3-0 but a Nick van der Velden’s free-kick minutes later reduced the deficit.
Not for long. Nine minutes later the home side’s fourth was scored by Swedish defender Rasmus Bengtsson got the end of a messy scramble. NEC grabbed their second on 90 minutes, this time Erik Falkenburg the scorer but Twente had the final word deep into injury time. Felipe Gutierrez made it 5-2 and his team jump up to fifth in the table as NEC sit mid-table in eleventh.
Feyenoord 6 (Goossens 19, 68, Pellé 30, 45+2P, Immers 33, Schaken 55)
Feyenoord hit Heracles for six on Sunday, as Ronald Koeman’s men join PSV on 66 points to keep hopes of qualification for the Champions League alive. The rout began on 19 minutes from a wonderfully placed John Goossens free-kick smashing in the top corner giving goalkeeper Remko Pasveer no chance of stopping. The second goal of the match was equally impressive after half an hour. Italian hotshot Graziano Pellé hitting a curling effort from the edge of the box sending De Kuip into a rapture of celebration. Some good work down the right from attacking full-back Daryl Janmaat provided Lex Immers for the third just three minutes later. There was time for one more before the break with Pellé grabbing his second and his 26th goal of the season with a spot kick after Ruben Schaken had been brought down by goalkeeper Pasveer. Pasveer was dismissed for the challenge to make matters worse for the Heraclieden. Schaken grabbed a goal himself ten minutes after half-time rounding substitute goalkeeper Brian van Loo to slot home. Schaken was involved in the last goal assisting Goossens to head the sixth in. Heracles now sit in ninth and will be glad to forget this game as soon as possible.
PEC Zwolle 1 (Broerse 18)
FC Utrecht 2 (Asare 2, Pappot 55)
In a lacklustre affair, Utrecht travelled to Zwolle on Sunday and came away 2-1 winners to stay in sixth. The game had just kicked off when Nana Asare put the visitors ahead. Joost Broerse replied on 18 minutes for the visitors before Elroy Pappot decided the game ten minutes into the second half.
Vitesse Arnhem 3 (Havenaar 9, Bony 25, van Ginkel 46)
Willem II 1 (Snijders 78)
Ivorian striker Wilfried Bony made Vitesse history on Sunday afternoon surpassing former striker Nikos Machlas’ 36 goal record in all competitions in the Arnhem’s club 3-1 win over Willem II. Greek striker Machlas had hit the net 36 times in the 1995/96 campaign but after seventeen years Wilfried Bony takes over this record scoring his 37th goal of the season in the 25th minute.
Vitesse took the lead after only nine minutes, scored by Japanese-born forward Mike Havenaar. After Bony grabbed his 31st in the league and 37th overall to break the record, just 13 seconds in the second half the ball ended in the back of the net for the Vitesse’s third goal. Mike Havenaar placed the ball to attacking midfielder Marco van Ginkel who put his team in a comfortable 3-0 lead. Willem II grabbed a consolation goal through Genaro Snijders.
In regards to Bony’s record mentioned earlier, the Ivorian still has two matches to gain more goals, against RKC Waalwijk and VVV Venlo. These will be most likely Bony’s last matches for Vitesse, he has been linked to many clubs across Europe the past few months and has stated he will leave in the summer.
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