Ajax continued their impressive run of form which has taken them just one win away from their third successive Dutch title, at times this season it looked as is PSV Eindhoven had finally done enough under Dick Advocaat to remove the Amsterdammers from the summit of Dutch football however it appears they have fallen short in the final month. Ajax this past weekend travelled to NAC Breda whilst PSV Eindhoven were to face what was expected to be a relatively straightforward home fixture against Groningen. Feyenoord after their victory over Vitesse Arnhem were hoping to keep their hopes of a place in next season’s European Cup alive with a home fixture against Heracles whilst Vitesse who are now all but resigned to Europa League football next season hosted Willem II.
PSV conformed to expectations and duly gave Groningen a sound beating, Groningen after having a very impressive season currently find themselves in eighth place but the gulf in class between themselves and PSV this past Matchday was evident. PSV were two up after just six minutes of play with goals from Tim Matavz and then Dries Mertens from the penalty spot. Seven minutes later it was 3-0 and pretty much game over when Jeremain Lens powered a shot past the Groningen goalkeeper Bizot from a fairly tight angle on the right hand side. Before the first half was out it was 4-0 to the Eindhoven side with captain Mark Van Bommel getting in on the act with a placed shot into the bottom right hand corner of the net from outside of the penalty area with Groningen left wondering just how many they were going to concede over the course of the ninety minutes. PSV looked unstoppable and quickly made it 5-0 right before the half time whistle when Jeremain Lens got his second of the afternoon from three yards out after a Bizot fumbled Van Bommel’s free kick.
The second half was a less exciting affair with PSV happy to keep the score at 5-0 knowing their afternoons work was complete, Groningen did threaten to stage some form of fight back however when they pulled two goals back through Michael De Leeuw however it wasn’t enough to worry Dick Advocaat’s men and they strolled home to record a 5-2 victory which put them just one point behind Ajax for a short period of time.
Ajax were to restore their four point advantage later that day with a 2-0 win away at NAC Breda. Ajax began the first half in their usual free flowing passing manner with NAC struggling to get hold of possession however Ajax could not break the home side down with Ryan Babel coming closest with a cross-come-shot just before the half hour mark. Ajax eventually took the lead right before half time through their front man Sigthórsson who clipped the ball into the empty NAC net with great technical ability following a goalmouth scramble.
Ajax came back out after the restart determined to build on their one goal advantage and did exactly that just six minutes into the second half when the visitors made it 2-0 when a Christian Eriksen corner kick was glanced in at the near post of the head of NAC defender Gilissen. This was the way the scoreline would stay until the final whistle with Ajax not at all tested by NAC in one of their more comfortable games this season, the Amsterdammers restored their four point lead at the top of the table with only six points left to play for.
It was Feyenoord and Vitesse who were in action on the Sunday of last weekend with Feyenoord putting six past Heracles in what is to be their penultimate home game of the campaign. The rout began in the nineteenth minute through full back John Goosens when the Dutch defender placed a fantastic free kick into the top corner of the net from around 20 yards out. It was Graziano Pelle who continued his dream season by adding Feyenoord’s second of the afternoon just eleven minutes later with a placed shot into the roof of the net from outside of the box in a very similar manner to Mark Van Bommel’s goal in PSV’s win over Groningen the day before. Just a minute after Pelle’s strike it was midfield link man Lex Immers who place a shot into the back of the net from a short distance from goal after superb work down the right hand side from Daryl Janmaat. Feyenoord were awarded a penalty just two minutes before half-time when Ruben Schaken was brought down by Heracles goalkeeper Pasveer. Pelle slotted the resulting penalty calmly into the bottom right hand corner of the net to make it 4-0 at half time.
The second half continued in a free scoring manner for Feyenoord when Ruben Schaken added his name to the score-sheet with a cool finish after taking the ball round the goalkeeper in the fifty fifth minute, this goal was followed around twelve minutes later by John Goosens’ second of the afternoon when a well worked passing move from Feyenoord allowed Ruben Schaken to chip the ball across the box for Goosens to dive and nod home from yards out. The score remained 6-0 until the final whistle which kept Feyenoord’s pressure on PSV for the final European Cup qualification spot.
Vitesse had a similarly comfortable afternoon at home to Willem II with Wilfried Bony returning to the starting line-up after he missed the fixture against Feyenoord last week. Mike Havenaar opened the scoring after nine minutes of play before Bony doubled the lead in the twenty fifth minute with his thirty first league goal of the season amidst reports the Ivorian has agreed to join West Ham United in the summer transfer window as the Hammers look for a cheaper alternative to Andy Carroll who Sam Allardyce has conceded will return to Liverpool at the end of his season long loan spell at Upton Park. Marco Van Ginkel made it 3-0 just after the break with a cool side footed finish following an excellently strong first touch to take the ball away from two Willem defenders. Willem did pull a goal back in the seventy eighth minute through Genaro Snijders however it wasn’t enough to stop Vitesse running out 3-1 winners.
Ajax can secure the league title this Sunday afternoon with a victory at home to Willem II whilst PSV host NEC Nijmegen at the same kick off time. Feyenoord and Vitesse also both play at the same time on Sunday with the two sides having away trips to Den Haag and RKC respectively.