Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord all recorded a victory last weekend. As a result, the tension is fully present in the title race: the difference is no more than two points between the teams. This is what the morning papers write about the traditional top three.
‘Precisely in Wolluk – Brabants for Waalwijk – Ajax clambered back on the pink cloud, where it was thundered by the scoreless draws at Heracles Almelo and Go Ahead Eagles (0-0),’ writes De Telegraaf the day after the 0-5 victory. of Ajax at RKC Waalwijk. ‘The large lead halfway through made it clear that Ajax has learned from the zeperds in Almelo and against Go Ahead Eagles. After the international break, which was used to let Jurriën Timber and Berghuis recover from their minor aches and pains, the team from Amsterdam again showed the freshness that was missing especially in the last home game.’
“Due to the unexpected half slips against the low flyers, Ten Hag and his players gave PSV and Feyenoord fuel for a catch-up race,” the morning newspaper states. ‘The conclusion that the difference between Ajax’s Champions League matches and the matches against the lesser gods is much too great was a simple one and was emphasized during a visit to RKC Waalwijk. For once it wasn’t the general sharpness, but initially it was the ruthlessness.’
‘More than three points were at stake for Ajax in Waalwijk’, says Algemeen Dagblad after the Ajax victory. ‘The champion found himself in third place in the Eredivisie in the afternoon (on Sunday, ed.) thanks to victories by both Feyenoord and PSV. That was partly the result of Ajax’s lack of return in the last Eredivisie matches.’
‘With numerous World Cup tickets in his pocket, the hunt for the competitors and a more productive period started. For a moment, an old shortcoming seemed to start playing tricks on Ajax again, when Haller, who had been hidden away by Ryan Gravenberch, misjudged the RKC goalkeeper Etienne Vaessen and Dusan Tadic shot past in a promising position.’ Nevertheless, Ajax won 0-5.
The Eindhovens Dagblad saw that something happened at PSV-Vitesse (2-0) that had never happened before. ‘Davy Pröpper came in for Roger Schmidt’s team a minute before the end and was the only Dutch field player who was allowed to enter the Philips Stadium in red and white. It had never happened in the history of PSV that none of the ten football members of the basic team had a Dutch passport.’
The Algemeen Dagblad also knows about the ten foreigners in the PSV base. ‘Yes, it was a motley crew that played the tiles of the roof against Vitesse for half a time. They had a flashy football lead with 2-0 and then easily stayed upright in the second half. Guti, Sangaré, Götze, Ramalho, Boscagli, Vinicius, Doan and Bruma would never have expected it to happen themselves.’
‘At least six of them had already been written off and reviled in Eindhoven. But take Ivorian international Ibrahim Sangaré, for example. He has been the best and most consistent player for a while now. Bruma has even been PSV’s top scorer in the Eredivisie since Saturday. The Portuguese scored five goals in just over five hundred minutes. Whereas before he had hopelessly chased every shot into the second ring.’
Bruma’s performance against Vitesse has lingered at De Telegraaf. ‘Whoever would have predicted for this season that Bruma would be the most scoring PSV player for one-third of the Eredivisie season, would have been treated to laughter. After a loan last season to Olympiakos Piraeus, a permanent departure last summer seemed the best solution for all parties. It did not come to that and now he is a valued selection player and with five goals even the most scoring PSV player in the Eredivisie this season. The way in which Bruma scored the second PSV goal against Vitesse after Ibrahim Sangaré’s 1-0 (a nice blast from a distance), proved that he is comfortable in his own skin.’
After Feyenoord’s 4-0 victory over PEC Zwolle, Algemeen Dagblad talks about a statement by Arne Slot after the game. The coach said that PEC is “not a co-title candidate”. Slot therefore thinks that Feyenoord does have a chance at the championship. ‘The trainer was probably so enthusiastic because he was served at his beck and call’, the AD states.
Slot wanted to see in these weeks how his team would act in an empty Kuip, without the support of its own supporters. And the coach finally hoped for an important European meeting to have the points nice and early, without tension until the last minute. He got exactly what he wanted.’
“With the departure of Steven Berghuis from Feyenoord, there was a slight panic in Rotterdam in the summer,” De Telegraaf begins about Feyenoord. ‘Where the hell was the next goal production supposed to come from? Exactly four weeks before Berghuis’ return to De Kuip, two men have already given the answer: Guus Til and Bryan Linssen, both good for eight goals.’
‘The two of them produced three hits in half an hour against PEC Zwolle (4-0). Yes, of course, against a club that has been left in a sorry state by the resigned Art Langeler. But PSV and AZ recently struggled against the same PEC Zwolle and that did not happen to Feyenoord thanks to a shiny first half.’
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