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PSV have taken a big step to retaining their title (PSV.nl)

22 mrt 2008 - Source: PSV.nl

This newsitem has been supplied by PSV.nl


PSV have returned to winning ways. They earned an emphatic 3-0 victory against FC Groningen 3-0 at the Philips Stadium on Saturday night to take a big step towards retaining their title. The hosts were never threatened as Danny Koevermans scored goals either side of the break. Otman Bakkal, who produced an outstanding performance, doubled PSV's advantage soon after the break.
PSV will be able to lean back on Easter Sunday, as closest challengers Ajax travel to Enschede to face FC Twente and third-placed Feyenoord lock horns with townsmen Sparta Rotterdam at the Rotterdam Kuip. PSV will be next in action next Saturday, away against N.E.C., but several players will be away this week on international duty. PSV played well today and fully deserved the victory. They outclassed FC Groningen and were rewarded for their dominance with three goals. The defending champions wasted chances to score more goals, but Saturday's result was a big step towards retaining the title for the fourth season running.

Ibrahim Afellay returned to the PSV starting line up and with Alcides sidelined with a knee injury, Slobodan Rajkovic started in his absence at left back. FC Groningen fielded a team that was different from the starting XI in this season's reverse encounter in the festive season, as three players left the club during the January window and several players are ruled out with injuries. PSV burst out of the blocks and Farfán, Afellay, Bakkal and Salcido had chances to open the scoring in the opening stages. Sef Vergoossen's won all balls in midfield, closed down their opponents all over the park, putting pressure on the FC Groningen defence. The visitors only started some rare counter attacks and Lovre produced goal threat with a header from a corner. PSV took the lead on the half-hour mark. Bakkal superbly fed Koevermans, who rounded keeper Van Loo before slotting home the opening goal: 1-0. It was an emotional moment for the club's leading scorer. Koef, as he is nicknamed, had ended his goal drought, taking his season's tally to thirteen, after he had been forced to withdraw from the squad for personal reasons.
PSV doubled their advantage soon after the break. Bakkal unleashed a long-range effort that keeper Van Loo failed to hold and the ball rolled agonisingly slowly across the line: 2-0. PSV then took control and started some well-worked moves, but should have been more ruthless in front of goal. Koevermans had a goal ruled out for offside. Aissati came on for Afellay fifteen minutes from time, while PSV surged forward in a bid to score a third goal. They got what they wanted in the 84th minute. Captain Timmy Simons produced the perfect centre and Koevermans, left completely unmarked, scored his second goal of the night; 3-0. PSV had put the result beyond doubt, but their victory was slightly marred by the injury that Jefferson Farfán sustained in the closing stages when he picked up a knock from Lovre. The Peruvian striker was stretchered off the pitch.