PSV booked their first win of the year at Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday. The Eindhoven team was too strong for the home team in a goal-rich duel at the wintry Castle with 3-5.
The formation of trainer Roger Schmidt, who did not send a significantly changed team into the field for the first time this season, was already behind on the white field after four minutes through a beautiful long shot by Bryan Smeets.
Mauro Júnior repaired the damage halfway through the first half from a nice cross by Noni Madueke and shortly after the break, substitute Donyell Malen and Madueke scored the second and third goal of the visitors. Philipp Max made it 1-4 in the 72nd minute and seemed to decide the game.
Yet it was still exciting in Spangen. Danzell Gravenberch made it 2-4 with a nice shot and Reda Kharchouch took the 3-4 from a penalty kick. In injury time, Malen put an end to all Brabant uncertainty by sliding in the 3-5.
PSV, which previously drew at Ajax (2-2) in January and lost to AZ (1-3), climbed to third place due to the victory at the expense of Feyenoord. The team from Rotterdam can take that position back on Sunday with a win over Ajax in De Klassieker. Sparta is stuck in ninth place.
PSV will continue the Eredivisie next Sunday with a home game against RKC Waalwijk. A game with FC Volendam awaits in the cup tournament on Tuesday.
Substitute Donyell Malen takes two hits against Sparta.
Smeets scores 1-0 with the world goal
Schmidt surprised before the game by keeping Malen, Eran Zahavi and Denzel Dumfries on the bench. The German coach preferred Cody Gakpo and Madueke, who both returned from injuries.
Schmidt’s significantly changed team fell behind after four minutes by a phenomenal goal from Smeets. The 28-year-old midfielder laid out the ball and took a devastating shot from a distance, to hit from the inside of the post.
The people from Eindhoven managed to repair the damage twenty minutes later. Madueke reached with a cross Mauro Júnior, who scored the equalizer against the grain.
Opportunities were scarce before the break in Rotterdam, where despite the snowfall in the first half, a white ball was simply played. After the break the game continued with the red variant.
For Gakpo, the game ended after forty minutes. The 21-year-old attacker, who had just recovered from an ankle injury, had to go to the side with another injury and was replaced by the later goalscorer Malen.
PSV scores twice in four minutes
The second half was less than two minutes old when PSV took the lead. On a pass from Pablo Rosario, Malen remained cool and the club top scorer of PSV scored his eighth goal of the season.
Two minutes later it was again hit for PSV. Madueke, already good for an assist in the first half, this time was the end station of a nice attack and made it 1-3 on a pass from Jordan Teze. With Max’s 1-4, the left back cut in and hit with his lesser right leg, the game seemed decided.
Nevertheless, the PSV ran into problems for a while. Gravenberch put the 2-4 with a nice shot on the scoreboard and a foul by Jordan Teze on Mario Engels, Reda Kharchouch was able to score the 3-4 from a penalty kick.
Sparta went on the hunt for the equalizer, but failed to force it. From the counter-strike, the ball ended up at the feet of Malen via Ibrahim Sangaré, who finally decided the game with his ninth goal of the season.
View the results, the stand and the program in the Eredivisie