• Monday, 22 February 2010

    PSV lead cut to one: Eredivisie reviews

    Roda 2-1 Heracles
    NAC 0-2 Utrecht
    Waalwijk 1-2 Heerenveen
    VVV Venlo 3-3 AZ
    NEC 0-2 Groningen
    Feyenoord 2-2 Den Haag
    Ajax 4-0 Vitesse
    PSV 1-1 Sparta
    Twente 1-0 Willem II

    For most of Sunday, a day on which the top four were all in action on their own turf, it looked like little was going to change. Twente laboured for long periods against lowly Willem II before Peter Wisgerhof bundled in an ugly goal after a real scramble in the six-yard box as the Tilburgers failed to clear. Ajax were cruising to yet another comfortable win - another four taking them to 69 for the season with ten games to go. They were three up on Vitesse by half time, Siem de Jong with a great late arrival in the box for the first, Luis Suarez with his obligatory goal and Paul Verhaegh heading over his own keeper for an own goal third. Vitesse offered de Jong far too much space early in the second half and he rifled in a fourth. None of this mattered to PSV who were moving serenely on against Sparta with Otman Bakkal volleying in on 14 minutes. One goal has been enough on any number of occasions for them recently, but it does leave you open to something unlikely. And the unlikely finally happened three minutes into stoppage time - virtually the last touch of the game. A cross swung in from the right was met with a neat, glancing header by Rydell Poepon and PSV had failed for the first time to close a game out.

    Feyenoord dropped more points, Danny Buijs equalising in the last minute for struggling ADO. That leaves the Rotterdammers eleven adrift of Ajax who are one place above them and eight clear of fifth placed AZ who also drew. They were involved in a six-goal thriller against VVV Venlo. They blew a two-goal lead after seeming to take control with two in two minutes mid-way through the second half. Pontus Wernbloom put the champions ahead on the half hour, but VVV were level ten minutes into the second half through Adil Auassar. Simon Poulsen and Mounir El Hamdaoui struck within seconds of one another just after the hour to re-eastablish control, but Ruben Schaken pulled one back and, quarter of an hour from the end, Michael Uchebo squared it up.

    Utrecht had their game held up for the second time in a week due to abusive chanting towards the referee. This time it wasn't the Utrecht fans, but the NAC supporters who were aggrieved over the first half dismissal of Anthony Lurling. NAC were already behind by then, Nana Asare having scored moments before Lurling saw red. After the resumption, Dries Mertens made it safe for Utrecht four minutes from the end. NEC's recent good run came to a shuddering halt at home to in-form Groningen. Even Leandro Bacuna's sending off didn't hurt, Groningen already two up and in control by then. NEC had been unravelled by then anyway. Waalwijk looked good for a point, but were denied by a Gerald Sibon penalty six minutes from time. That was his second of the game having put Heerenveen in front early on. Benjamin de Ceulaer had equalised, but RKC slipped to yet another loss, their twentieth of a rotten season. Heracles slipped to a defeat despite Everton putting them ahead on eight minutes. Davy de Fauw equalised for Roda quarter for an hour from the end and when Anouar Hadouir missed from the penalty spot with seven minutes left, Heracles could have been forgiven for thinking they'd escaped with a point. But if they did lose focus, then they paid for it, Marcel de Jong winning it for Roda in the last minute.

    Ten games to go and PSV, still unbeaten, lead by a point from Twente who are six clear of Ajax.

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