And it only takes a week for two of our young, cool clubs to be relieved of their European dreams. No CL for PSV, no EL for Feyenoord (or Vitesse, or Utrecht).
What a drama. Feyenoord started well against the Russians in a steaming De Kuip but missing a penalty is never a good thing to do. Too many individual mistakes. Not enough forward thrust. Not enough killer instinct. End of story.
Ronald Koeman: “We lost against ourselves, really. We did everything right in the first half. We pressured forward, we scored and created 5 opportunities. But they came back due to personal mistakes and that second goal took the confidence out of the team. This was very unnecessary.” Apart from losing the game, Feyenoord also lost Clasie with a hamstring injury.
Feyenoord not good enough. Utrecht and Vitesse: not good enough. AZ might have a somewhat friendlier draw than Feyenoord but still…probably…not…good enough.
So, we need to make do with Ajax. In the CL. An Ajax WITHOUT Eriksen and most likely Alderweireld, who is linked to Atletico Madrid and Liverpool. Ajax is checking if Van Ginkel is available for a loan deal, what with Willian coming in, but for now, Chelsea said no.
Last season, they were facing the champions of England, Spain and Germany. “It can’t get that bad this year,” everyone said. So now they get Barca, Milan and Celtic. And sure, it’s not that bad. I do believe 6 points are a must against Celtic and maybe they can grab two against Milan. Who knows how they’ll finish up. They will at least bag the millions tv-money all by themselves now PSV is out.
PSV might not have gotten the victory (and the CL ticket), as was to be expected, really. But PSV definitely received and deservedly so, the compliments for trying hard.
The young team ( 23 years on average WITH Park and Schaars, 20 years without these two oldies) played with gusto, flair and panache in the San Siro. With the first chance even for Tim Matavz.
But it didn’t take long for Kevin Boateng to find space in the centre, with the former Portsmouth forward drifting between Wijnaldum and Rekik and pulling the trigger early. The PSV goalie Zoet was probably expected to block that but he simply wasn’t quick enough.
PSV kept on playing and Milan allowed PSV the ball. And slowly PSV gained some confidence, knowing that a 2-2 or a win would be enough. And there is enough football in PSV to go for a goal or two. Maher understood this in the 20st minute, taking a ball on the half volley and forcing a stop from Abbiati.
In the 31st minute, great chance for Milan, with a low pulled back cross from the left and an El Shaarawy hit on the bar.
The start of the second half was great for PSV with a 100% chance for Wijnaldum. Instead of being smart about it, the former Feyenoord man went for power and Abbiati blocked it nicely.
but it was Balotelli who found he net in the early stages of the 2nd half.
And it has to be said…. AC Milan looked more lethal, more mature and superior, but they did allow PSV the ball a lot and the youngsters from Eindhoven tried to take the game to them. The final pass or the final cross failed them though. And it has to be said, some players failed to step up.
Specifically Adam Maher and Memphis Depay, in my book, should have brought more. Maher had some great moments, but he needs to be more dominating, in my book. He does drift in and out. Depay however seems to light at this level. Physically and in terms of decision making. He is a great talent, for sure. But his time has not come yet. Park and Matavz played decent. So did Wijnaldum. Schaars worked his arse off but simply does not have the class of a Sneijder or Clasie. It’s a bit too predictable.
The most impressive players for me where – despite the goals conceded – Rekik, Bruma, Willems. Fearless. Focused. And sure, playing those top forwards (Boateng. Balotelli, El Shaarawy) you do make mistakes and you will give chances away. But I was impressed with these guys.
Jeroen Zoet? I am not convinced. Talented for sure. But not the man to win games for you (yet). A bit too…..sweet? (Zoet is Dutch for sweet, hahaha). I can’t see how Tyton is not better at the moment.
Nigel de Jong was nice to his fellow countryman. The best Dutch player on the pitch: “I really need to compliment PSV. They play with heart and soul. And they’re talented. But it’s too early for them. If they can keep the lads together for a bit, their time will come.” Asked about his future in Oranje, he said: “Sure! I’d love to wear the jersey again. But for now, after this long injury, I need to focus on my club. If I do well for Milan, the rest will probably follow.”
Stijn Schaars: “We are too light for this. Milan showed us that. We just didn’t have enough. With 1-0 down, there was nothing really troubling us, as we had to score anyway. We had the 1-1 opportunity and we missed. The game would have been different as a result. They got one 10 minutes later, and score. Almost from the same spot. That is the story, I guess.
This game and this opponent came to early for PSV. Sadly or maybe not sadly, the can now concentrate on the domestic league.
And in Amsterdam they secretly cheer, as all the CL tv income will now go to Ajax….