Madhuki shinesAt the beginning of the football season, PSV Eindhoven dealt a severe blow to Ajax, last season’s champion and cup. About 25,000 spectators saw how the visitors, after Noni Madueki (19) got on his hips again, referee Bjorn Kuipers gave the red to Nicholas Tagliafico to bid farewell, and the defending champion ran and ran away on Johan Cruyff’s scale: 0-4.
By Johan Inan
Was it a warm-up with the handbrake on or was it a serious indication of the next title fight? None of the first, unless it had to be Ajax, as coach Erik ten Hag had already predicted, turned out to be unable to rage for ninety minutes because a handful of internationals still lacked the best terms. However, he had forged his strongest formation.
That Roger Schmidt also did so on the doorstep of CL football, where a bag with tens of millions was also ready, was all the more surprising. But in this way, the instantly filled stadium witnessed a fierce duel with the biggest attractions of the upcoming Eredivisie season. So, with Steven Burgess in the Ajax shirt, and in PSV, Mario Gotze and Madwicki were “only” present.
The fact that the latter was the man in good shape in the preliminary round matches with Galatasaray and FC Midtjylland did not yet appear on Ajax when Maduweki started his first dribble with just a hundred seconds on the clock. This was in particular Lisandro Martinez and Nicholas Tagliafico, who had been brought into the spotlight a little earlier for the conquest of Copa America, and who were very powerful. Madueki slipped between the Argentines with a strong acceleration and pushed the opening goal in the short corner: 0-1.
Then Ajax unleashed a storm. One in which Eindhoven managed to stay afloat with artwork and fly. After a superb pass from Dusan Tadic, Burgess’ first goal for Ajax seemed to be in preparation, had it not been for Joel Drumel’s header from the crossbar. Not long after, the stadium exploded after Ajax with an attack like no other, with Ryan Gravenberch, Bergwis (twice), Tadic and Haller pulling the trigger by simply hitting the ball. At least that’s what they thought, but it soon turned out to be a subject for VAR. Minutes after the lines were drawn, there was still a line passing through the beautiful goal.
The damage turned out to be even greater for Ajax, who lost their momentum after the delay. PSV Eindhoven stayed on the ball more easily and could save more. For example, when Götze started a counterattack with a brilliant run in midfield, which was once again promoted to goal by speedy Madueke. Double Eindhoven’s absolute margin and a beautiful view of the first cup, after Ajax won the last five national awards. Then the cup and the defending champion, just as in the last two matches of the competition, had to be prevented from making up for the shortfall.
It has now worked, with the help of Tagliafico. The left-back was left with the dubious honor of the Super Cup: Tagliavico became the last player Kuipers sent off five minutes before halftime. Even worse for Ajax is that his rash handling of Andre Ramalho on the sidelines hardly made another comeback possible. At the start of the second half, Ten Hag played easier. However, the contact goal failed to achieve this, also because several attacks missed out on the motley Haller, who was replaced by David Neres to loud cheers.
PSV got more and more space and opportunities. Pasfer, who made his official debut for Ajax because Martin Stecklenburg wasn’t a new armpit, was able to dodge the needed shots. But at the stage when both coaches made changes and after, PSV Eindhoven managed to score a big win. Substitute Jorpe Vertisen struck 0-3 from close range, while superstar Gotze provided the final chord with a gentle curl.
For example, defending champion and favorite Ajax were dealt a heavy blow from the biggest opponent at the start of the football season.
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