Feyenoord, PSV close in on Ajax
The Hague: With Eredivisie leaders Ajax dropping points, rivals PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord were able to close in on the reigning champions thanks to crucial victories.
After last week`s 3-2 win in the top of the table clash against PSV, Ajax seemed pretty certain of once again winning the Dutch championship title, but the Amsterdam based side drew 1-1 against sc Heerenveen on Friday.
Vitesse was Ajax`s closest rival, five points behind the leaders, and had the chance to move to a three-point deficit on Sunday. However, the club from Arnhem missed star players Marco van Ginkel and Wilfried Bony through injury and lost 0-2 at Feyenoord Rotterdam on Sunday.
Graziano Pelle handed Feyenoord the lead in the 39th minute via a disputable penalty, which was given after an alleged handball of Tomas Kalas although the ball touched his head. Lex Immers secured the victory with Feyenoord`s second goal five minutes after halftime.
After losing the clash against Ajax the pressure was on PSV with Dutch media speculating about a rift in the squad. PSV bounced back with a convincing performance at AZ Alkmaar. Mark van Bommel showed PSV the way with a smashing free-kick in the first half and Dries Mertens and Jeremain Lens adding more goals in the second half.
Substitute Aron Johannsson, who came in for injured striker Jozy Altidore, produced the late consolation goal of the home-team but lost 1-3.
PSV and Feyenoord now trail Ajax by four points with three match rounds remaining. Vitesse are six points behind. The league champions will book a berth in the Champions League, while the number two qualifies for the Champions League preliminary round and the numbers three and four have to settle for a place in the Europa League.
"We will aim for the second place and the Cup, for the rest we will see," said PSV coach Dick Advocaat. "Anything is possible. The pressure is on Ajax now again, that is clear."