Eredivisie round #1: Close wins for the big teams

Hey there, fellow Ajacied! Have you coped with the loss at Heracles and very likely departure of Davinson Sánchez already? Well, that’s good, because other than all that, other Eredivisie teams also kicked the football about in their opening games. Let’s see how they did as we keep up with the competition.

Starting with perhaps the biggest surprise, league newcomers VVV Venlo mirrored Premier League newcomers Huddersfield with an opening day 3-0 win of their own. Alex Pastoor’s Sparta Rotterdam, their opposition in said game, enjoyed 67% of the ball, but registered only two shots on goal, conceded three goals and had their defender Julian Chabot sent off. Venlo’s start was only matched by Vitesse, who ran out 4-1 winners over Breda.

The most thrilling match of first round was held at Groningen. The hosts were two nil down against Heerenveen, but still managed to escape with a point for a 3-3 draw. The match saw two braces, as Morten Thorsby struck twice for the visitors while Mimoun Mahi scored twice for Groningen. Both his goals were important, setting the score at 2-2 and 3-3 respectively, but it should be noted they were both penalties.

Utrecht asked “Sebastien Who?” as they ran out 3-0 winners at ADO Den Haag in their first league game without their top scorer last year, Sebastien Haller, who joined Frankfurt earlier this summer. Cyriel Dessers, the 22-year-old Belgian who came from Breda to replace Haller, shone as he scored a brace.

Saturday and Sunday split their share of big games, as on Saturday, PSV welcomed Alkmaar. The visitors had to cope with an injury early on, as Calvin Stengs had to be taken off just eight minutes into the game. It was confirmed earlier today the promising youngster has ruptured his knee ligament and will be out for the remainder of the season. Horrible! His replacement, Dabney dos Santos, found the net just ten minutes later, but PSV answered by three goals of their own. Hirving Lozano, their big new signing, scored on his Eredivisie debut, then Pereiro and Van Ginkel added another two goals in the second half. Wout Weghorst’s late penalty was converted, but did not change anything ultimately, as all three points stayed in Eindhoven following a 3-2 win.

And finally, in Sunday’s big match, the (deep sigh) reigning champions Feyenoord welcomed Twente. The hosts struck first through who else than Jorgensen, who enjoyed an easy finish after a great run by Jean-Paul Boetius. Jensen evened the score with a lovely volley from outside the box just fifteen minutes later, but Feyenoord managed to find the way out of the deadlock (don’t they always) after Toornstra’s free kick found the head of Steven Berghuis, and the winger sent the ball just where he wanted.

Next week, Feyenoord play their first derby of the season as they face city rivals Excelsior, PSV travel to Breda and Heerenveen will battle Heracles. Check back next week as we keep up with the competition!