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Chances of reaching the knock out stages dented (

24 Nov 2005 - Source:

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PSV’s chances of booking a place to the last sixteen of the Champions league have been hugely dented, after they were emphatically beaten 3-0 by FC Schalke in Gelsenkirchen. The Germans proved to be too good for PSV, who are now third in the group E ranking. Guus Hiddink had predicted already a long time ago that the decisions in group E would be made on the last matchday. PSV have one more game in hand, on Tuesday 6 December next, when they take on Fenerbahçe in the Eindhoven Philips Stadium. The Turkish side were hammered 0-4 by AC Milan, but can still leapfrog over PSV and make sure of a spot in the UEFA Cup tournament. The team of coach Hiddink could never dominate proceedings on Wednesday night. They lacked physical strength up front and Schalke were lethal with some counter attacks after the break. The hosts also proved to be clinical finishers. AC Milan and Schalke now top group E, having earned eight points each. PSV and Fenerbahçe have seven and four points, respectively. The decisions will be made on the final matchday.Schalke knew they had to surge forward and attack in front of their fanatic 53, 000 home crowd and that’s exactly what they did. PSV played a 4-4-2 system, with the strike partners Robert and Farfán up front, but they hardly created any danger in the first half. On eighteen minutes Schalke took the lead in the cold Arena AufSchalke, where the roof was open and where the temperature was just below zero. The Slovakian referee Lubos Michel pointed at the spot after André Ooijer had handled the ball in his area. Levan Kobiashvili blasted the ball low down the centre, while PSV keeper Gomes dived to the left; 1-0. It took PSV 24 minutes to create the first dangerous moment. They earned a free kick that the Schalke defence found hard to clear. Robert fired a shot on target and Schalke captain Frank Rost saved well from a dangerous looking corner kick. Lincoln (Schalke) rattled the post on 40 minutes. Hiddink brought about two changes during the break. Aissati was taken off and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink replaced him and Theo Lucius came on for Timmy Simons. PSV now played a 4-3-3 system, by which they had more possession of the ball. They were more threatening in the first ten minutes of the second half, with three strikers in attack, than in the full 45 minutes before half time. Phillip Cocu got a great opportunity to score the equalizer on 67 minutes. Reiziger delivered a perfect cross from the right wing, but Rost pulled off a fine save from his header. The game was virtually wrapped up on 73 minutes. The Brazilian Lincoln produced a lovely chip that Gomes could just touch. The ball went onto the bar and Kobiashvili pounced on the rebound to score the easiest of goals from close range; 2-0. Sibon was brought on twelve minutes from final time and he almost immediately committed a foul in his own box. Michel did not doubt and it was Kobiashvili who converted from the spot, thus netting his third goal of the night; 3-0. Anything may happen in a fortnight’s time. PSV could even be group winners, but they must have been dealt a terrific blow in Gelsenkirchen.