Feyenoord, Ajax and PSV made no mistakes in the 25th round of the Eredivisie. This is what the morning newspapers write about the traditional top three, for whom a crucial weekend lies ahead.
‘Feyenoord doctor’s prescription again’
Feyenoord had to repair another deficit on Sunday evening, this time against FC Volendam. It became 2-1 in De Kuip. ‘The three-pointer must have tasted good in Rotterdam. But the fact that there was once again a struggle with a low flyer in the Eredivisie will now lead to some concern at Feyenoord, ”said Algemeen Dagblad.
‘Gimenez worth gold again’, headlines De Telegraaf. ‘Like almost every week, Arne Slot’s team squeezed everything out to strike again mercilessly at the end of the match. The red and white Legion gets heart palpitations from the many late breakaways, but it further increases the title fever, because every Rotterdammer knows Ajax’s tough program.’
After Volendam’s opening goal, Slot boiled with anger, it sounds. ‘The fact that Slot had been annoyed turned out during the break. He left three men in the locker room: Danilo, Javairo Dilrosun and Marcus Pedersen. He sent a strong signal with Alireza Jahanbakhsh, Sebastian Szymanski and Ezequiel Bullaude. Bullaude’s entrance was just as successful as in Warsaw, where he scored the equalizer (against Shakhtar Donetsk, ed.).’
“It’s almost like a doctor’s prescription that is handed in weekly to the opponent’s pharmacy. Feyenoord made a mistake and then has to work incredibly hard to make up for it. It can go wrong sometime.’
‘In the end it always works out for Feyenoord, also against Volendam’, notes de Volkskrant. ‘On paper, Feyenoord’s program is simpler than Ajax’s, was one of the storylines on the way to the Classic in Amsterdam next week. According to that scenario, Feyenoord would kick off with a three-point lead in the Arena. The plan is perfect, with the note that Ajax’s goal difference is much better.’
‘Ajax ready for ultimate robbery’
Ajax scored against sc Heerenveen three times within nineteen minutes and eventually won 4-2 in Friesland. ‘Ajax ready for ultimate robbery’, headlines De Telegraaf, looking ahead to the Classic against Feyenoord. The work of trainer John Heitinga is praised. Heitinga had not dared to hope that Ajax could take over the lead in the mutual clash with Feyenoord next weekend. (…) And so Ajax is brimming with confidence in the run-up to the beautiful poster against Feyenoord.’
Algemeen Dagblad also has an eye for Amsterdam’s advance since Heitinga took over from Alfred Schreuder. ‘In the first half hour, Ajax showed itself as usual frivolous and deadly at the same time. The flashy attacks and three early goals were reminiscent of the game and the big scores of the past successful years. Ajax played the Frisian mid-engine completely upside down.’
‘Heitinga has transformed Ajax, mainly by tinkering little with his formation and increasing the competition and automatisms. Ajax was dead and buried, but will fight for the lead next week after resuscitation by John Heitinga.’
“Ajax’s current level of form seems to be a guarantee for an exciting championship race to the end,” writes Trouw. ‘Ajax is making Feyenoord more and more hunted game. Coming Sunday, the Rotterdam rival will come to the Johan Cruijff Arena for a crucial top match. The Ajax fans who traveled along were already busy in Friesland. After a week with much discussion about the ban on away supporters, ‘bombs on Rotterdam’ were repeatedly sung.’
‘Simon’s Bizarre and Wonderful’
PSV achieved the biggest victory of the traditional top three, but also receives the most criticism in the media. ‘PSV has got a taste for winning, but the 5-2 victory over Cambuur did not feel really pleasant. There is still too much going wrong with the people of Eindhoven for that. One man continues to withdraw from the malaise’, the Eindhovens Dagblad refers to Xavi Simons.
‘If PSV were a barometer, the weather forecast could be completely different within a few minutes. One moment the team presents itself as a grand prince and one goal after the other falls, after beautiful attacks. Not much later everything goes wrong defensively, so that even a relegation candidate has chances against the team that is still involved in the title race.’
‘PSV has one constant: Xavi Simons. He continues to manifest himself in a bizarrely defining way for a 19-year-old and takes his teammates in tow again and again. It’s amazing how he holds his own in all circumstances and sometimes is so much better than the rest. (…) PSV is the best performing formation in home matches in the Eredivisie this season, but outside Eindhoven it is acting as a mid-engine.’
After Cambuur’s opening goal, PSV’s thoughts will have gone back to October, when the team from Eindhoven lost 3-0 to the current last. “Although it was just as sloppy at times as it was then, PSV got the job done this time (5-2), so that the team from Brabant remain in the footsteps of the top three,” said De Telegraaf.
‘PSV has now set up a decent series with seven Eredivisie matches without defeat and three league victories in a row, something that had not happened since the early weeks of the season. In terms of numbers, PSV is participating in the title fight, but it is still not very convincing what PSV puts on the mat.’
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