Narrow PSV win gives Ajax the edge as Eredivisie race goes to the wire

Donyell Malen scored a late header for PSV. Photo: Jeroen Putmans/VI via HH

PSV kept their hopes of retaining their Eredivisie title alive with a nervy win over ADO Den Haag to draw level with Ajax at the top of the table.

Denzel Dumfries put the home side ahead at the Philips Stadium as he cut in from the right flank and fired home after 20 minutes, but Mark van Bommel’s side were unable to add to their lead until the 83rd minute when Luuk de Jong headed in his 27th of the season.

Substitute Tomas Nedic pulled one back for ADO two minutes from the end before Donyell Malen made the points safe in injury time.

De Jong acknowledged his opponents had been hard to break down. ‘ADO parked the bus and gave us very little space.’ he told NOS. ‘We had a lot of the ball which meant we could keep pressing, but we didn’t execute the final phase so well. In the end we have to be happy we got three goals.’

The result keeps Ajax, who laboured to a 1-0 win at Groningen on Saturday, in the driving seat thanks to their superior goal difference. The Amsterdammers are playing their next fixtures at home, while PSV face tricky away trips to Alkmaar and Tilburg.

Substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar grabbed the points with a strike from close range in the 78th minute and was immediately booked for tearing his shirt off in celebration – a moment of exuberance that proved costly when he received a second yellow card for a heavy challenge six minutes later.

Fortuna Sittard took a big step towards survival with a 2-1 home win over NAC Breda, who now cannot finish above the relegation play-off line. Mark Diemes scored both goals for the Limburgers, including a first-half penalty. Fortuna are now seven points ahead of 16th-placed Excelsior, while NAC are four points adrift of De Graafschap at the bottom.

In Sunday’s other game, Excelsior bagged an injury-time equaliser at home to Willem II Tilburg to narrow the gap on Emmen, currently occupying the all-important 15th spot, to five points. The team from Drenthe recorded a 2-0 win over FC Utrecht on Saturday to complete the double over Dick Advocaat’s side.

Feyenoord need just one more win to secure third place and a Europa League spot after they came from behind to beat their only challengers AZ Alkmaar 2-1, Tyrell Malacia and Robin van Persie scoring in the second half. Mats Seuntjens had put the visitors ahead in the 36th minute.

Less than a minute later Seuntjens’s brother Ralf scored for VVV Venlo in their match against De Graafschap. It signalled the start of a comeback by the Limburg side, who had gone behind to Furdjel Narsingh’s second-minute strike but ran out 4-1 winners to keep their opponents firmly in the play-off zone.

Vitesse overcame PEC Zwolle by the same scoreline to improve their chances of a European play-off spot, with Bryan Linssen notching a hat-trick to bring his season’s tally to 11.

Heracles also stayed in the hunt for European football as they saw off Heerenveen in Friday night’s game. Heracles’s Brandley Kuwas and Heerenveen’s Sam Lammers swapped penalties before Adrian Dalmau made the difference for the home side after 72 minutes.



Heracles 2-1 Heerenveen


Emmen 2-0 Utrecht

Feyenoord 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

Groningen 0-1 Ajax

Vitesse Arnhem 4-1 PEC Zwolle

VVV Venlo 4-1 De Graafschap


Excelsior 1-1 Willem II Tilburg

Fortuna Sittard 2-1 NAC Breda

PSV Eindhoven 3-1 ADO Den Haag


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