Feyenoord beat PSV to stay on course
Feyenoord earned a vital three points in the title race with a 2-1 win at home to PSV on Sunday. Jens Toornstra and Jan-Arie van der Heijden scored the goals to extend Feyenoord’s lead over the reigning champions to eleven points.
The hosts started strongly, putting PSV under intense pressure in the opening quarter of an hour. The visitors were given no time to breathe and it seemed just a matter of time before Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side would take the lead.
PSV were given fair warning, with Eljero Elia and Nicolai Jørgensen both having shooting chances, but it was Steven Berghuis who opened the scoring after ten minutes. Terence Kongolo had a big hand in the goal. The defender exploited the space behind the visitors’ defence with a great run before passing to Berghuis to beat keeper Jeroen Zoet with a hard shot into the roof of the net.
PSV suffered another blow ten minutes before the break when Marco van Ginkel was forced off with an injury. The Chelsea loanee had netted four goals in six matches. Even without their prime goal-scorer the visitors still managed to threaten. The half was virtually over when Gaston Pereiro went close to levelling. Brad Jones and Kongolo combined to save the day.
Feyenoord were less dynamic at the start of the second half. The hosts found it harder to keep it tight, which played into PSV’s hands. The visitors were unable to create any full-blown chances, but they did put Brad Jones’ goal under pressure. Eventually Gaston Pereiro did find a way, scoring with a shot off the post from just outside the area to level.
By then Elia was off injured with Bilal Basaçikoglu replacing him. With ten minutes left Feyenoord also lost Rick Karsdorp after a superhuman effort to deny Steven Bergwijn in a scoring position.
The space was opening up and both sides were looking to claim the vital third goal of the afternoon. Berghuis hit a post, Toornstra hit the bar, with a lob, then Karim El Ahmadi hustled Bergwijn at the other end to deny him a shot.
PSV were looking for the goal that would put them back in the title race, but Feyenoord knew that one more strike would leave them in pole position in the league. The tension was palpable but Van der Heijden rose above it to edge Feyenoord ahead. Keeper Zoet scrambled to clear his header but the ball had crossed the line and the hosts were ahead.
Feyenoord knew they needed to play out the match to secure a vital win as the atmosphere reaching boiling point at De Kuip. PSV saw the writing on the wall, bringing on an extra striker, while Van Bronckhorst tried to bolster his defence with Miquel Nelom on for Berghuis. Van Bronckhorst won the tactical battle as his side put in an extra hard shift to secure a crucial win in the race for title glory.