Defensive blunder costs PSV €20m Champions League payday
A calamity in the penalty area cost PSV a place in the Champions League group stages and a €20 million payday as they went down 1-0 at home to Glasgow Rangers.
Defender André Ramalho failed to control a pass from his own goalkeeper, Walter Benitez, under pressure from Malik Tillman, allowing the US international to steal in and set up Antonio Colak to tap in from close range after 60 minutes.
The defeat in Eindhoven, combined with a 2-2 draw in Glasgow, when Benitez allowed a free-kick to slip through his fingers for Rangers’ second goal, means PSV’s wait for a first appearance in the group stages since the 2018-19 season goes on.
The guarantee of six matches against top European opposition generates at least €35 million in income for the participating clubs. PSV will now drop down to the Europa League, where they can expect a more modest windfall of around €15 million.
Cody Gakpo missed the best chance of the first half for PSV when he chipped over the bar, while Philipp Max fired wide from an unmarked position shortly after Rangers scored.
Team in progress
Manager Ruud van Nistelrooy said his team failed to produce the quality of football needed to justify a place in Europe’s top club competition. ‘We’re working on building a new team and we will carry on with that. It’s very close, but that makes it even more painful that we’re not there yet.’
His opposite number Van Bronckhorst, who saw his team qualify for the Champions League proper for the first time in 12 years, said the players had been fired up after their bus was held up outside the Philips Stadium by PSV fans who banged on the windows and let off fireworks nearby.
Van Bronckhorst had asked UEFA to delay the kick-off in the wake of the ‘dangerous’ situation, but his request was rebuffed. ‘In the end the situation just motivated us even more,’ he said.
‘Last week I thought the gap between the two teams was small, but we were better in this game. We could have scored more.’
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