• Monday, 23 August 2010

    PSV the remaining hundred percenters: Eredivisie reviews

    Excelsior 4-2 NEC
    Vitesse 0-3 Twente
    Groningen 2-1 De Graafschap
    Heerenveen 3-1 NAC
    Ajax 3-0 Roda JC
    Utrecht 3-0 Willem II
    Heracles 1-1 Feyenoord
    VVV Venlo 2-3 ADO
    PSV 3-1 AZ

    Just the 33 goals this weekend in Holland, down three on last week. Only the 1-1 draw between Heracles and Feyenoord failed to make it as high as three. Mark Looms headed the home side ahead there from a corner, Feyenoord's failings at set pieces again marked out for all to see. Heracles continued to press, but couldn't work the opening for a second, Erwin Mulder called into action on a number of occasions to keep the Rotterdammers in it. And their profligacy was paid for by a cracking equaliser from Giorgino Wijnaldum who spun away from his marker on the edge of the box and looped a shot in from the edge of the box.

    Everywhere else, it was raining goals. PSV continue to head the standings after a relatively comfortable win over AZ who, after selling Moussa Dembélé to Fulham in the week look well short of firepower. AZ were forced into some desperate defending as PSV threatened to overwhelm them early on, but we had to wait until a couple of minutes from the break for first goal. PSV gave it away cheaply in midfield, but were immediately returned the favour and shipped it forward quickly where Ola Toivonen played in compatriot Marcus Berg who hit it across the keeper and inside the back post. The Eindhoveners came flying out of the blocks second half, but AZ countered and a deep cross found the head of Erik Falkenburg who nodded it between Andreas Isaaksson's legs for 1-1. They weren't level for long, PSV able to split the defence open at will as if they were shelling peas. Jeremain Lens was sent clear and he squared it for Berg to slide in to restore the lead. And in the last minute, Ibrahim Afellay sealed it. His initial shot was well saved by Joey Didulica, but broke back to him and some delightful footwork saw him work the space for the shot which found the back of the net.

    Twente are off and running, and have still to concede this season. The Tukkers fans had to endure another scoreless 45 minutes before they finally hit the groove though, but once one went in, the floodgates opened. Mark Janko showed the dancing feet on the edge of the box to lose his marker and fire it in. It was always going to be tough for anyone to replace club legend Blaise N'Kufo and young Luuk de Jong (brother of Ajax midfielder Siem, not Man City midfielder/kung fun expert Nigel) is the chap with the responsibility. Bryan Ruiz supplied him for his first, a perfect through ball finding de Jong in space in the box. Where had the Vitesse defence gone? The same pair combined for the third, Ruiz squaring it along the edge of the six-yard box for his young strike partner when he could probably have scored himself. Ajax remain unbeaten after another relatively easy win, Mounir El Hamdaoui getting two more. A defensive mess gave him his first in a plate after good work from the returning skipper Luis Suarez. The Uruguayan got the second after exchanging passes with El Hamdaoui on the edge of the box and the two combined once again for the Moroccan to tap home a third from close range.

    Excelsior won their second straight game, again on the artificial surface at their compact home ground. Bjorn Vleminckx's fourth goal in two games got NEC ahead on the half hour, a deep cross finding the Swede unmarked at the far post. That was it for the first half, but Excelsior came flying out of the traps after the break with two quick goals. Jordie Clasie cracked the first in from just outside the box to level it and Daan Bovenberg headed the home side in front two minutes later, NEC caught napping at a corner. NEC were back level with quarter of an hour to go with a goal of some quality, the Nijmegeners shifting from defence to attack in the blink of an eye, Bas Sibum getting on the end of the move to make it 2-2. They were level for just three minutes, a famous name getting Excelsior back in front, a long range shot not held and spilled at the feet of Roland Bergkamp who poked it in from close range. Last week's star, Guyon Fernandez, wrapped it up in the dying seconds, catching NEC with a wicked turn of pace, taking it round the keeper and walking it home. NEC will not be the last side to come a cropper there.

    De Graafschap were undone by an early dismissal for Jan-Paul Saeijs, a blatant foul and last man back. He had to go. Andreas Granqvist converted the spot kick - just. Young Danish winger Thomas Enevoldsen made it two before the break, side-footing home from close range and that was pretty much that. Rydell Poepon pulled one back with twenty minutes to go, but the damage had already been done. Matthew Amoah had NAC in front at Heerenveen within a minute, largely thanks to a goalkeeping howler as Kenny Steppe allowed the tame shot to squirm through his hands and in. The response came 25 minutes later, Bas Dost getting between two defenders to head in at the near post. A loose clearance gave Heerenveen the position to go in front, but it was the luckless Kees Luijckx who got the final touch past his own keeper. Dost then added a third, another header as he was left completely unmarked ten yards out. Two more goals for Ricky van Wolfswinkel and two red cards as Utrecht beat Willem II who are already in danger of being cut adrift. The Tilburg side should have been in front, but Andreas Lasnik missed a 20th-minute penalty, blasting it over the bar after Franck Demouge had been pulled down in the box. Barely a minute had passed when Jacob Mulenga was fouled in the other box and, this time, van Wolfswinkel showed Lasnik how to do it, drilling it into the bottom corner. A great Michal Silberbauer run set up the second. He was stopped in his tracks as he was about to pull the trigger on the edge of the box, but the ball squirmed free to Dries Merterns who tucked it in nicely. And the game was all but over just after the half hour as the ref played a great advantage and van Wolfswinkel headed in powerfully. Alje Schut picked up his second yellow ten minutes into the second half and he was followed by Demouge 15 minutes later, his wandering elbow picking up two cautions in quick succession. Finally, some late drama in Venlo where ADO were in front in the second minute as Dmitry Bulykin got across his marker to divert the ball in. A neat interchange of passes on the edge of the box saw Achmed Ahahaoui released and level it midway through the first half. Bulykin gave ADO the lead back on the hour, somehow turning it in from a corner despite the seemingly impossible angle and so it looked like remaining until some late, late action. Wesley Verhoek looked a couple of yards offside as he put ADO 3-1 up, a lovely touch taking him round the keeper as the inquest began back on half way. Ruud Boymans pulled one back in the first of three minutes of added time, but ADO hung on.

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