PSV Eindhoven once again failed to reach the group stage of the Champions League. Ruud van Nistelrooy’s team lost the match at home to Rangers (0-1). Thus, PSV Eindhoven missed its place in the first division of club football, after its draw last week in Glasgow (2-2).
PSV Eindhoven will continue their European performance this year in the Europa League, where there is less prestige and money to be made. This is clearly detrimental to the players and fans, as was clearly demonstrated in Phillips Stadium after the final whistle.
PSV supporters have clearly shown that after four years they are longing for the group stage of the Champions League. They set off a lot of fireworks around the stadium hours before the match. Infuriated by coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst, they also stopped the Rangers FC team bus. The Scottish club unsuccessfully tried to postpone the start of the match.
The enthusiasm of the fans only spread to the players in the last stage of the first half. The hosts began to be tame and cautious, with Eric Gutierrez and Ibrahim Sangari as spotters and Joey Firman as attacking midfielders. Van Nistelrooy had no place in his starting lineup for the adventurous Xavi Simmons.
Rangers stayed upright for over half an hour and had the best chance of scoring the opening goal. John Lundstram, however, shot wide. Eindhoven then became dangerous twice through Jordan Teese and Luke de Jong, who failed to score twice after a cross from the right-back. The best chance in the first half was for Cody Jacobo, who probably played his last game for PSV. The striker, coveted by Manchester United, rushed forward. Gakpo played unremarkably and didn’t show why coach Erik ten Hag wanted to bring him to England.
Simmons entered the field after the break as a substitute for injured Luke de Jong. The talent that came from PSG started playing as a right winger. Ismael Saibari place de Jong in the striker. Carlos Vinicius, the real striker, stayed on the bench and watched PSV Eindhoven escape in the 56th minute when Tom Lawrence hit the crossbar.
Four minutes later it’s still going wrong. Goalkeeper Walter Benitez took a risk on Andre Ramalho and watched the Brazilian defender lose the ball to Malik Tillmann. The American striker offered Antonio Colak an unmissable opportunity (0-1). Coach Van Nistelrooy eventually made five changes, but that also turned out to be not enough to escape as happened in the previous preliminary round against Monaco.
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