PSV booked a hard-fought victory in the Eredivisie on Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday. In a strongly changed line-up, the Eindhoven team was just too strong for the middle engine: 1-0.
It was Sparta Rotterdam that got the best chance against PSV, where no fewer than eight other players appeared at the kick-off compared to last week’s Eredivisie match against FC Twente (1-1). Lennart Thy had the 0-1 for shooting after nine minutes, but he did not get the ball from 25 meters into the empty goal after he had passed PSV keeper Lars Unnerstall.
PSV came out of the shell in the second half and brought in Noni Madueke, Donyell Malen and Cody Gakpo after more than an hour. Although the changes hardly provided any great opportunities, the home club did take the lead. Malen initially missed a penalty kick in the 78th minute, but it was hit in the rebound. It turned out to be the only goal in the Philips Stadium.
Thanks to the victory, PSV stays in the trail of leader Ajax. The Eindhoven team, who is in third place, has 23 points after ten matches, four fewer than the team from Amsterdam. Sparta remains tenth with nine points.
Mario Götze was allowed to start in the base again at PSV against Sparta Rotterdam. (Photo: Pro Shots)
Sparta most dangerous against B-team PSV
In view of PSV’s busy schedule, trainer Roger Schmidt decided, among others, to give captain Denzel Dumfries, club top scorer Malen and strongman Philipp Max rest against Sparta. With this B-team, the people of Eindhoven could not make a fist at home.
With Mario Gotze in the ranks, PSV did dictate the game, but it was Sparta that was the most dangerous in the counter. PSV goalkeeper Unnerstall, who took over the place under the crossbar from Yvon Mvogo, timed completely wrong with a high ball and offered Thy a free passage, but the Sparta striker moved wide from 25 meters in front of an empty goal.
It turned out to be the only chance in a dreadful first half, in which PSV never fired a shot at goal and ran into a Sparta wall.
The moment that the penalty kick for PSV introduced: Nick Viergever is knocked out by Spartan Reda Kharchouch (Photo: Pro Shots)
Schmidt intervenes after more than an hour
After the break, PSV made more moves to force a goal. Adrian Fein saw his curl shot turned with the fingertips by Sparta goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, after which trainer Schmidt intervened and attackers Eran Zahavi, Götze and Richard Ledezma exchanged for Madueke, Gakpo and Malen.
With these three within the lines PSV was a lot more threatening and that resulted in a penalty for the home club in the 77th minute. Okoye initially turned a bet from his own player Michaël Heylen, after which Nick Viergever was knocked out in the rebound by substitute Reda Kharchouch.
Referee Jeroen Manschot immediately pointed to the spot from which Malen was allowed to dock. The striker saw his bet from 11 meters first turned by Okoye, but in the rebound he was able to slide the ball into the empty goal. Substitute Danzell Gravenberch was still close to the equalizer for Sparta in the final phase, but he shot high.
View the results and the position in the Eredivisie