Saturday, January 13, 2024 became a historic evening in the Premier League. PSV equaled the 36-year-old record by winning the first seventeen league matches. At the time, Guus Hiddink was the coach of PSV, which also won the cup and the European Cup I (the current Champions League) that season.
This time Peter Bosz, trainer at PSV since the summer, is the architect behind the success. He is having an almost flawless season so far. PSV won the Johan Cruijff Shield, is still in the cup (Wednesday against FC Twente) and qualified for the eighth finals of the Champions League for the first time in five years.
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Guus Peters has been writing about football and tennis since 2014 de Volkskrant.
Attractive and attacking
What Bosz must do well: PSV achieved seventeen victories with attractive and attacking football. It is exactly what the trainer from Apeldoorn wants to see from his team. Just winning is not enough for him. For Bosz, football is synonymous with entertainment.
PSV only played substandard football twice in the series of seventeen matches. In the first half against Vitesse and before half time against Ajax. The wide selection that Bosz has at his disposal paid off in those matches. With the help of substitutes, PSV turned those duels around, as proof of the many weapons at its disposal.
On a cold winter evening when PSV played itself into the history books, there was no real match, although Excelsior thought they could briefly reduce the tension in the absolute final phase. The Rotterdam team, who saw the training camp in Alicante, Spain, canceled last week due to a wave of illness in the selection, mainly tried to stop PSV. In vain.
Luuk de Jong gave the home team a comfortable 2-0 lead within twenty minutes (rebound and header). With his goals, the striker joined a special list: he is in the top 10 top scorers of the Premier League of all time. They were his 162nd and 163rd goals.
PSV played football, as it has all season, with many opportunities. Boscagli, Schouten, Bakayoko, Tillman and Til could have scored, although the latter did too. Til shot the ball low into the far corner after half an hour. But the VAR had seen that De Jong had been offside by a toe-length in the run-up to the goal.
De Jong himself did not want to participate in wasting all those imposed opportunities. Halfway through the second half he responded attentively to a cross that went through. The striker slid the ball in at the far post. It was his fifteenth goal this season, and his 164th in total in the Premier League.
Shortly before the end, substitute Sanches Fernandes did something in return on behalf of Excelsior: 3-1. In injury time, the visitors even thought they could score the tying goal. Uddenas, also a substitute, fumbled the ball in. His goal was disallowed for offside.
36 years ago, PSV’s winning streak stopped in the home match against Twente (2-2). The current PSV can completely take the record into their hands when they visit FC Utrecht next weekend.
The post first appeared on www.volkskrant.nl