PSV got their Europa League Group D campaign off to an excellent start with a hard-fought but deserved 3-2 win over Sporting CP in the Philips Stadion on Thursday night.
2-1 at half time
Mark van Bommel, as expected, stuck to the same team that battered Vitesse 5-0, with midfielder Jorrit Hendrix again deputising for the injured Érick Gutiérrez. PSV slowly found their rhythm but once they got going they scored two goals in quick succession. Donyell Malen, who netted all five goals against Vitesse, broke the deadlock in the 19th minute with PSV’s first shot on goal. 17-year-old Mohamed Ihattaren played a long ball into the path of the striker, who unleashed a vicious low shot from the edge of the penalty area that went off the inside of the post into the bottom corner: 1-0. PSV doubled their lead on 25 minutes. They broke on the counter and Ihattaren found Bruma who delivered a low cross towards the far post with Malen waiting to pounce. Sebastián Coates made a desperate attempt to clear the ball but slid it into his own net: 2-0. The visitors reduced the deficit in the 39th minute when Hendrix committed a late challenge on Bolasie in the box. Bruno Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty and duly converted the spot kick: 2-1. In the 43rd minute, the crowd started to clap in honour of Fernando Ricksen who passed away yesterday aged 43. HT: 2-1.
3-2 at the final whistle
PSV restored a two-goal advantage three minutes into the second half. Ihattaren took a corner. Nick Viergever made a clever dummy or mishit his shot at the near post and the ball fell to 23-year old German centre back Timo Baumgartl who slotted home to the huge delight of the home crowd: 3-1. The visitors did not throw the towel and PSV survived as care when Bruno Fernandes rattled the woodwork on 56 minutes. Sporting played a 5-3-2 formation, pressing higher up the pitch, and created chances. PSV keeper Jeroen Zoet made two fine saves to deny Fernandes and made a reflex save to thwart Miguel Luis. Cody Gakpo came on for Ihattaren in the 64th minute, while Doan replaced Bruma with twelve minutes remaining. Miguel Mendes made way for Pedro Mendes who scored with his first touch of the game in the 82nd minute: 3-2. The Portuguese tried to salvage a point with a last-gasp equaliser but the best chance fell to Doan who forced Ribeiro into a diving save. FT: 3-2.
PSV will start preparing for Sunday’s top-of-the-table clash with Ajax tomorrow.