PSV 4-3 Ajax, Lineups/Stats
A highly entertaining clash between PSV and Ajax ended in a narrow victory for the Eindhoven side.
The away side made a brilliant start to the match as Luis Suarez opened the score after only two minutes following some sloppy goalkeeping from Andreas Isaksson.
PSV weren’t impressed though as Hungarian midfielder Balazs Dzsudzsak levelled the score with a stunning long range strike ten minutes before the interval.
Once again Suarez restored the lead for Ajax minutes before the break after being set up by Dutch international Demy de Zeeuw.
It was all PSV in the beginning of the second half and Dzsudzsak and Ottman Bakkal helped the Eindhoven side to the lead with two goals within ten minutes from the beginning of the second half.
However, Urby Emanuelson drew things level at the hour mark with a curled effort that beat Isaksson at the far post.
Bakkal scored his second of the game fifteen minutes before the final whistle with a powerful effort from inside the area.
Both sides started the match carefully, but the guests grabbed the lead after only two minutes of play. Uruguayan hitman Luis Suarez took advantage of sloppy goalkeeping from Andreas Isaksson and tapped the ball home from close range to make it 1-0 for Ajax.
Suarez almost made it two for the Amsterdam side after ten minutes. The tricky attacker got possession at the edge of the box and tried to surprise the PSV shot stopper with a delicate chip. Nevertheless, Isaksson did well to tip the ball over for a corner.
Hungarian winger Balazs Dzsudzsak sprung to life for PSV after about twenty minutes. The left footed attacker tried his luck from long range with a number of powerful shots. Neither of his attempts caused Ajax goalie Maarten Stekelenburg any serious trouble though.
PSV almost drew things level halfway the first half via right back Stanislav Manolev. The new signing was on the receiving end of a superb cross, but aimed only just beside the target to see his dangerous header go wide.
Dzsudzsak scored the 1-1 after 36 minutes with a ferocious long range drive. The referee awarded PSV a free kick after a foul from Eyong Enoh and Dzsudzsak stepped up to fire the ball home from about 40 yards.
Nevertheless, Ajax restored their lead only minutes later after sloppy defending from the hosts. Demy de Zeeuw set up Suarez inside the area and the latter beat his defender to the ball before hitting the net with an amazing chip.
De Zeeuw came close to handing the Amsterdam side a two-goal lead in the dying minutes of the first half. The holding midfielder opted to try his luck from 25 yards after a quickly taken free kick, but his shot sailed just over the cross bar.
Ajax were keen to repeat their excellent start of the first part of the game and Jan Vertonghen could have scored the 3-1 if it wasn’t for Isaksson’s excellent save. The Belgian midfielder unleashed a shot from 40 yards out, but the Swedish glovesman pushed it narrowly wide.
Highly rated midfielder Ottman Bakkal was set up by Dzsudzsak, who did brilliant to go by two opponents before sending in the cross, and Bakkal, who replaced the injured Orlando Engelaar in the PSV starting XI, finished the ball with ease to draw things even.
The pace of the match never slowed down and the Eindhoven giants grabbed the lead ten minutes after the break. Dzsudzsak sent in a free kick and the ball missed everyone before nestling in the corner past the surprised Stekelenburg.
The equalizer was score by Urby Emanuelson at the hour mark in somewhat controversial fashion. The PSV players screamed for a foul, but the referee waved play on, handing Luis Suarez the option to assist Emanuelson for the 3-3. The latter kept his nerves and beat Isaksson with a curled effort in the far corner.
Once again Dzsudzsak nearly put PSV in front again after 64 minutes. The tricky winger turned on the edge of the box following good work by Danko Lazovic and tested Stekelenburg with a superb shot, which was saved by the goalie in similar fashion.
Bakkal scored the 4-3 with just fifteen more minutes on the clock. Manolev swung in a cross from the right that reached the former Holland under-21 star. Bakkal didn’t hesitate and fired home from inside the area. His first touched had a hint of handball though and the Ajax fans weren’t too happy with the ref’s decision to play on.
Things went from bad to worse for the away side and they had to thank Stekelenburg for pulling off a world-class save from a Bakkal header after 80 minutes, as the midfielder came close to grabbing a hattrick against the Amsterdam giants.
Ajax tried their utmost to score yet another equalizer and substitute Dario Cvitanich could have become the hero for Ajax in to stoppage time. Nevertheless, the Argentinean attacker failed to controlled the ball alone in the box and the chance went begging.
Stefan Coerts, Goal.com