• Monday, 3 May 2010

    Twente claim title: Eredivisie reviews

    AZ 1-1 PSV
    Groningen 3-1 Sparta
    Utrecht 2-2 Vitesse
    Feyenoord 6-2 Heerenveen
    NAC 0-2 Twente
    NEC 1-4 Ajax
    Waalwijk 1-2 VVV Venlo
    Roda 3-2 Willem II
    Heracles 4-2 Den Haag

    Unfortunately for Ajax, NAC were rubbish at a rain-swept Breda against Twente. The Amsterdammers needed a hand from NAC, but it wasn't forthcoming. If anything, they gifted a win to Twente who duly accepted it and claimed their first title. Luis Suarez had put Ajax in front in Nijmegen after quarter of an hour and, as that stood at the time, Ajax would be champions. Six minutes later, Czaber Feher went in studs up on Theo Janssen and was sent off. Janssen's quick, 60-yard diagonal ball from the free-kick found Bryan Ruiz. The Costa Rican's first touch was a beauty, taking the defender out of play and the second curled it past the keeper and the title swung back towards Enschede. Ajax did what they had to do and stuck another three past NEC, Demy de Zeeuw, Marko Pantelic and a second from Suarez, but they could only hope NAC could help them out. Twente dominated in Breda who barely had an attack worthy of the name, but at 1-0 there was still tension in the air. Ruiz and Blaise N'Kufo missed sitters, Kenneth Perez shot tamely at the keeper when one-on-one, but they came out re-energised for the second half. NAC made it hard for them, but eventually they cracked, Miroslav Stoch taking the ball into the box, opening his body out and curling one just inside the far post. Cue celebrations in the crowd and all around Enschede where big screens were up at the Arke Stadion and all over the city. Steve McClaren is the first Englishman to win a league title since Bobby Robson at Porto and now finds himself a man in demand. Hamburg and Wolfsburg are reported to be interested in taking him to the Bundesliga, Sporting fancy offering him the chance of a job in Lisbon and there's interest from Spain too. Twente's biggest challenge may be hanging onto him.

    PSV drew with AZ and they finish third and fifth respectively. Feyenoord overtake AZ on the final day to claim the final Europa League spot after thrashing Heerenveen. Roy Makaay, who announced his retirement after the game, hit a hat-trick as they came from behind. Viktor Elm made it 2-1 halfway through the first half, but Feyenoord cut loose after that. Heracles, Utrecht and Groningen join AZ in the Europa League play-offs. Groningen beat Sparta who finish third from bottom and face a play-off to maintain Eredivisie status. Heracles looked comfortable leading 3-0 against ten man Den Haag with twenty minutes to go, but ADO fought back to 3-2 before Darl Douglas sealed it with two minutes left. Utrecht blew a two-goal lead at home to Vitesse, but hung on to draw.

    Waalwijk's season ends, fittingly, with a defeat. Hans Mulder put them ahead, but late goals from Sandro Calabro and Ruud Boymans snatched a win for VVV. Willem II battled back from 2-0 down against Roda to level it up quarter of an hour from time, but conceded late on to Davy de Fauw to end with a defeat and they also face a play-off to stay up.

    The Europa League play-offs are Thursday and Sunday when Roda take on Heracles and Utrecht face Groningen.

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