FRIENDLIES & SUPERCUP MARK BEGINNING OF TITLE DEFENSE
Phase II started fairly well and Mark van Bommel is heading into the beginning of the season on a solid streak of results. With the Euro Cup and Olympics occupying a number of key players the new youngsters being thrown in the deep end of the pool got plenty of playing time, and so far it looks like van Bommel’s gamble is paying off.
Friendly (H) : PSV 4 - Lommel SK 1
Friendly (A) : KSV Cercle Brugge 1 - PSV 3
Friendly (A) : Bayer Leverkusen 2 - PSV 5
Friendly (A) : KFC Turnhout 0 - PSV 4
Friendly (A) : RB Leipzig 1 - PSV 1
Three of the games were against small teams that PSV were expected to win, but they did pull out some impressive results against big teams. The 5-2 win over Bayer Leverkusen was a great result as they managed to pour it on against a solid team from a bigger league with a player (Kai Havertz) most would consider to be much better than anyone on PSV’s roster. The most surprising result would be the draw against RB Leipzig, van Bommel had to rest a number of players to be ready for the KNVB Super Cup and sent out their ‘C’ team with a number of Jong PSV players. After going down 1-0 early the youngsters managed to pull one back later in the game and hold off a team much better than them.
The KNVB Super Cup against Ajax would be their first real test with a mostly full roster but tactical familiarity will not be an issue. Ajax has also been a thorn in van Bommel side so despite the low importance of the match it would mean a lot to him to add more silverware at Ajax’s expense.
DUTCH SUPER CUP
KNVB Super Cup (H) : PSV 1 - Ajax 0
With even odds coming into this game van Bommel was rather measured with his comments in the media, with so many changes and Pelayo Morilla still at the Olympics there would be room for Ajax to tip this one in their favor. David Neres, Walter González, Moussa Sissoko, Nicolás Tagliafico, and Daley Blind were still around so Vincenzo Montella would still have the players to win.
“If we want to pass Ajax, we will need to go through them.”
The final result wasn’t the best reflection of the game, but PSV managed to do enough to keep the score line safe for the bulk of the game. Ajax’s 4-1-2-3 formation did the trick of slowing down PSV’s attack and luck fell on their side with Bruno Henrique’s strike just before the half the only goal. Despite a massive advantage in shots, shots on target, and possession the single goal difference would keep Ajax’s hopes within reach all game. Ajax’s saving grace was new GK Erik de Wit, only (17), as he made numerous quality saves to keep them in the game.
Few players had impressive games with only (3) players rating above 7.0, all of them on PSV, with Antônio Carlos the Player of the Match with an 8.2 and the assist on Bruno Henrique’s goal. Antônio Carlos has continued his ascent after a great 2019-20 season and Euro Cup run, it won’t be long before even more teams come pounding on the door for his services.