PSV recorded a narrow and hard-fought 2-1 win over FC Groningen to maintain their lead at the top of the Eredivisie table. Two goals from Hirving Lozano gave PSV a 2-0 lead but Ludovit Reis reduced the deficit for the visitors. PSV’s victory was dampened by a head injury that PSV’s Mexican winger sustained on the stroke of half time.
Lozano bags a brace but sustains a head injury
The home fans were in good voice as they waved goodbye and paid tribute before kick-off to Phillip Cocu, passionately chanting his name. Cocu had guided PSV to three league titles and two Dutch Super Cups in a five-year stint, while PSV also reached the UEFA Champions League round of 16 under Cocu.
PSV had their foot on the gas from the first whistle and went close on five minutes. Angeliño steamed down the line and put in a good cross for Gaston Pereiro, but the Uruguayan curled his effort wide of the post from a tight angle. Mark van Bommel’s men saw most of the ball and made the breakthrough on 15 minutes. Steven Bergwijn burst past his marker before cutting the ball back for Hirving Lozano who only needed the tap the ball into an empty net and score his twelfth goal of the season: 1-0. PSV turned up the heat and doubled their lead barely four minutes later. Pereiro, who had returned to the starting XI, provided the perfect cross and Lozano was again on hand to finish at the far post: 2-0. Pereiro played a good through ball into the path of Luuk de Jong, who was looking to score his 100th goal in a PSV shirt, but the striker hooked a firm shot wide of the post. Against the run of play, FC Groningen reduced the deficit on 34 minutes. A corner fell to Ludovit Reis who unleashed a shot that took a slight deflection off Nick Viergever: 1-2. PSV had plenty of chances to restore a two-goal lead but FC Groningen goalkeeper Sergio Padt made two fines saves to deny Luuk de Jong and dived at full stretch to tip Angeliño’s shot around the post. Lozano was stretchered off the pitch on the stroke of half time, following a collision with Tim Handwerker during an aerial challenge and was taken to hospital. Donyell Malen came off the bench to replace him.
PSV cannot find their rhythm in second half
The second half was less action-packed than the first period. PSV saw most of the ball after the break but could not find their rhythm. Donyell Malen had a shot deflected off a defender, but PSV could not create any clear-cut chances. Tempers flared between Gaston Pereiro and te Wierik. As both players were booked. As PSV could not kill off the game, FC Groningen went in search of a late equaliser and were unlucky when Thomas Bruns rattled the bar from a free kick with two minutes remaining. PSV heaved a sigh of relief and held out for a narrow 2-1 victory. 16-year-old Mohammed Ihattaren was brought on as a substitute in the final minute to make his official PSV senior debut.