Ajax and PSV pick up straightforward victories away from home
Ajax went to Utrecht looking to avenge their early-season loss to the home side. Historically, matches in Utrecht have been something of a hurdle for Ajax, but Utrecht’s form of late has been poor – without a win in their last five games. Ajax played their first game since losing David Neres to Shakhtar Donetsk, but former Ajax player Brian Brobbey had re-joined on loan from RB Leipzig. With Haller at the African Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast, Ajax were in need of another striker.
After just five minutes, Anthony opening the scoring for Ajax, with a shot that rifled into the top right corner. Two minutes later, Tadic hit the post, but it wouldn’t be much longer until they doubled their lead. Returning Brobbey popped up around the 20 minute mark to score a header. Just before half-time, Tadic provided another assist for Brobbey, who scored his second goal to make it 0-3 for the away side. The second half was a mere formality, as Ajax took their foot off the gas and controlled the game with ease.
PSV followed Ajax’s example and opened the scoring in their game quickly. Mario Götze was able to easily finish a Gakpo cross in the tenth minute. Across the first half, Ritsu Doan missed the target with one chance, and forced a good save by Groningen goalkeeper Leeuwenburgh. Laros Duarte went closest for the home side, hitting the crossbar with a free-kick in the 48th minute.
In the remainder of the second half, PSV consolidated their small lead and Groningen weren’t able to create anything. Groningen ended the match without a single shot on target. PSV took back the three points to Eindhoven, where they will face Ajax next week in a direct clash for the top spot in the league.
De laatste wijziging.
Mario Götze verlaat het veld. Phillipp Mwene is zijn vervanger.
— PSV (@PSV) January 16, 2022
Vitesse punish Feyenoord’s defensive mistakes
On paper, Feyenoord v Vitesse should have been one of the better games of the weekend. Fourth-placed Vitesse were trying to get closer to third-placed Feyenoord, who were trying to keep the pressure on Ajax and PSV.
Vitesse created the first chance of the evening, but Grbic couldn’t finish it off. During the first half, both Feyenoord and Vitesse started to make more and more mistakes. The passing accuracy of Vitesse was only 76%, and it looked like the first team to make a big mistake in their defense would concede a goal.
During the first half, most of the sloppy plays took place in the midfield and the defenses were able to recover. It was Feyenoord that made the first crucial mistake in the 69th minute. After a high ball from the back, Openda took on a sprinting duel with Pedersen. Suddenly, Feyenoord goalkeeper Justin Bijlow showed up outside the penalty box. He couldn’t clear the ball and almost collided with Pedersen. Openda stayed calm, found the ball at his feet and scored the opening goal of the game. A few minutes later, Til scored for Feyenoord, but the goal was canceled by VAR for offside.
Vitesse halve the gap to Feyenoord to just three points, making the fight for third place wide open.
Elsewhere in the Eredivisie…
AZ started the season terribly, but now have a six-game winning streak after beating Fortuna Sittard 1-2. FC Twente beat Heerenveen 2-0 and kept up with AZ by equalling their points tally. At the bottom, PEC Zwolle gained a gigantic boost in winning 2-0 against Willem II, who lost their tenth consecutive Eredivisie game.
19/34 ✅️ 👍 of 👎? pic.twitter.com/8IDCrEkBBx
— Eredivisie (@eredivisie) January 16, 2022