AJAX CELEBRATE TITLE WITH CLOSING WIN

A review of Sunday's action in the Dutch Eredivisie.

Last Updated: 06/05/12 at 18:47 Post Comment

Excelsior's 3-1 defeat to PSV sent them down.

Excelsior's 3-1 defeat to PSV sent them down.

Ajax finished a remarkable title-winning season with a 14th consecutive Eredivisie win while Excelsior's relegation was confirmed on the final day of the regular season.

The champions needed late goals from defenders Andre Ooijer - the 37-year-old playing his last ever game - and Jan Vertonghen to secure a 3-1 win at Vitesse Arnhem.

Nicky Hofs had threatened to end Ajax's impressive run when he opened the scoring on 28 minutes, but a 41st-minute Dmitri Bulykin leveller paved the way for their late rally.

At the other end of the table Excelsior slumped into the Jupiler League with a 3-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven.

Excelsior's fleeting hopes were quickly dashed as goals from Dries Mertens (10) and Jeremain Lens (37) left them in a hole they were unable to extricate themselves from.

Luigi Bruins did reply on 50 minutes from the penalty spot but after Zakaria Labyad (66) added a third, and closest rivals De Graafschap beat ADO Den Haag 5-3, Excelsior's fate was sealed.

De Graafschap came from behind three times, Charlton Vicento's opener quickly cancelled out by Aleksandar Radosavljevic's own goal before Lex Immers and Michael de Leeuw twice traded goals.

Gil Vermouth and Soufian El Hassnaoui then earned the visitors victory.

PSV's win was not enough for them to snatch the second Champions League place though as Feyenoord ensured a return to Europe's premier club competition with a 3-2 win at Heerenveen.

Heerenveen, who qualified for the Europa League despite defeat, had led through the prolific Bas Dost, but the Rotterdam club responded with goals from Otman Bakkal, Sekou Cisse and Elvis Manu.

Rajiv van la Parra netted Heerenveen's second.

AZ Alkmaar, already qualified for the Europa League, ended their campaign with a 1-0 home win over Groningen.

Erik Falkenburg scored the only goal on 26 minutes.

Twente and RKC Waalwijk joined Vitesse in the Europa League play-offs despite failing to win on Sunday.

NEC Nijmegen are also through after a 2-1 win at Heracles Almelo.

Twente lost 4-2 at VVV-Venlo to give them a timely boost ahead of their relegation play-offs after late goals from Steven Berghuis and Michael Uchebo.

The contest sprang to life after the first half-hour when both teams traded goals from Leroy Fer (31) and Yanic Wildschut (45).

Nacer Chadli fired Twente ahead again on 48 minutes but VVV came roaring back as Danny Holla (61) equalised before the late goals.

RKC went through following an entertaining 3-3 draw at NAC Breda.

RKC took the lead through Rick ten Voorde but NAC established a 3-1 lead just after the hour mark thanks to goals by Alex Schalk, Omer Bayram and Robbert Schilder.

But RKC hit back for a point, levelling through Aaron Meijers and Sander Duits.

NEC scored in each half through Lasse Schone and Genero Zeefuik in their win over Heracles, who replied through Everton.

That meant they jumped ahead of Roda JC, who lost at home to FC Utrecht 3-1.

Alexander Gerndt put the visitors in front on the stroke of half-time following poor goalkeeping from Mateusz Prus.

Yoshiaki Takagi doubled the away side's lead four minutes after the break and, even though Sanharib Malki pulled one back, Frank Demouge sealed a win for Utrecht late on.

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W

e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

HarryBoulton
One Point And One Conclusion For United

P

arish is the man to blame for this shambles. Pulis must be chuckling into his left over turkey sandwich. I pray this doesn't mean the Neil Warnock media machine will kick in now and he'll be back on the telly box.

magicfuller
Warnock sacked by Palace

W

e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

gettalong
Wenger: Giroud deserved red

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