Rolling international club football 18/19 thread

#241

Eredivisie week 27

Ajax close the gap on PSV in an incident-packed game that ended in a 3 - 1 victory, despite the home team playing with 10 man for over 30 mins. Two match-defining VAR decisions changed the referee’s initial judgement: the red card for Mazraoui and the penalty that led to the second Ajax goal. Somehow VAR seems to work.

With 7 games left, the difference is two points, so only PSV losing or drawing a match will hand Ajax (who have the better goal difference) the title.

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#242

Eredivisie week 28 & 29

Whereas the midweek round of games did not bring any surprises, with Ajax beating league debutantes Emmen by 5 goals to 2, and leaders PSV recording a straight-forward 4 - 0 win over PEC Zwolle, this weekend saw a seismic shift at the top of the table.

After leading the league for 33 weeks, i.e. since the start of the season, PSV finally stepped down from the top position after an eventful 3 - 3 draw at Vitesse. Twice VAR was used in a penalty decision, confirmed for PSV and denied for Vitesse. PSV only managed to equalise in the final minute, courtesy of a Lozano penalty, following a last ditch intervention that earned Vitesse defender Van der Werff a straight red.

No such commotion for Ajax, who on Saturday strolled to a 4 - 1 win against Willem II. The Dutch FA allowed Ajax to play a day early to give the team maximum preparation time for the clash against Juventus on Wednesday.

These results mean that both teams are now level on points, but Ajax have the superior goal difference (+74) over PSV (+65). Only 5 games left to go. How exciting.

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#243

Eredivisie week 30 & 31

Even the distractions of the Champions League cannot stop Ajax in their chase for the title. Last week saw them beat Excelsior without much effort (6 - 2 at the final whistle) and while Saturday’s defeat of FC Groningen was a bit more laborious effort (1 - 0 courtesy of Huntelaar, who then managed to get sent off for a second yellow) Ajax remain top of the table with a +79 goal difference.

All second placed PSV can do now is look and pray Ajax drop points in any of the final 3 games. But the Dutch FA are not helping them, as in a unprecedented move, Eredivisie week 33 has been postponed until after the season’s end to allow Ajax maximum preparation time for their Champions League semi-final v Spurs.

Week 32 starts tonight with Ajax v Vitesse. PSV are away at Willem II on Thursday.

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#244

Eredivisie week 32

Ajax roll past Vitesse (4 - 2) and PSV do more or less the same against Willem II (3 - 0) so no changes at the top: both teams level on points with Ajax having a far superior goal difference (+81) over PSV (+71).

The Eredivisie will now take a break to focus on the Champions League semis. The penultimate round (week 34) of games are all taking place on Sunday 12 May, with the final batch (week 33) penciled in for Wednesday 15 May.

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#245

KNVB Cup Final

Ajax hardly break sweat as they convincingly beat Willem II 4 - 0. This was the 25th cup final for Ajax, with 18 resulting in a win, but the first silverware in 5 years. Manager Ten Hag rested some of the regulars, and saw a rare start for veteran striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. He found the net twice, aged 34, with the other goals courtesy of Blind and Kristensen.

One down, two to go. The treble is still on.

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#246

would be phenomenal if Ajax could land a treble this year

Given your history of European success and domestic dominance you must have done the treble before right?

#247

Only once, in 1972. Ajax won 5 trophies that year, the other two being the FIFA Intercontinental Cup (beating Argentina’s Independiente) and the Rangers First Centenary Cup (besting Glasgow Rangers, obviously).

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#248

Eredivisie week 34

Despite a very early goal (38 secs!) for FC Utrecht, Ajax win their penultimate game of the season with style and flair, with the match finishing in a 4 - 1 victory. Goals for Huntelaar, Van De Beek and Tadic (x2). And as the only title challengers left standing fail miserably in Alkmaar (AZ 1 - PSV 0) the Eredivisie shield returns unofficially to Amsterdam, after a 5 year barren spell.

There is one more round to play, #33 on Wednesday - postponed because of Ajax’ CL exploits - but these final games are now almost meaningless. PSV will have to hope for a Ajax loss at De Graafschap, and at the same time overcome a 14 goal deficit. Strange things have happened in football recently, but that does seem a bridge too far.

Ajax to win the domestic double.

#249

Eredivisie week 33

Ajax win the title for the 34th time in its history.

The Dutch 2019/2020 season will start on 2 August. Until then, enjoy your summer!

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