PSV drew 2-2 with Rangers in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off at Ibrox Stadium on Tuesday night. Ruud van Nistelrooij’s side had Saturday’s Eredivisie game at home to FC Volendam postponed in order to thoroughly prepare for the return leg against Rangers on Wednesday 24 August, kick-off 21.00 CET. Read some post-match comments.
Van Nistelrooij: ‘A game of two halves’
Speaking to the media after the game, PSV head coach Ruud van Nistelrooij thought PSV deserved their share of the spoils. “We started brightly and Luuk de Jong missed a fair chance to open the scoring before we gradually lost control. We could no longer close down the Rangers and failed to get into our rhythm. Rangers were the better team and we had to go through a difficult phase. We improved after the break and put on the best display of the season. We had the better chances and 2-2 is a fair result”, said Van Nistelrooij. Walter Benítez saw Tom Lawrence’s free kick heading straight at him, but PSV’s goalkeeper fumbled the low effort and could not prevent the ball from trickling over the goal line. Van Nistelrooij gave the Argentine shot stopper a big hug after the game and told him to cheer up. “We are a team and mistakes happen, also in football. One player makes a mistake and another one rectifies things. We are looking forward to playing a final in Eindhoven next week, with the Champions League group-stage place awaiting the winners.”
Veerman: ‘Fight from the first whistle’
23-year-old midfielder Joey Veerman is confident PSV will reach the Champions League group stages. "We will fight from the first whistle”, said Veerman in a belligerent mood. "We created plenty of chances tonight and could and should have won the game. But a 2-2 draw is a fair result. In spite of that I have the feeling we could have put the result beyond doubt already.” Veerman added that he had thoroughly enjoyed the electrifying atmosphere at Ibrox. “50,000 fans created an intimidating atmosphere. It was great to be here tonight and I am sure our supporters will be our twelfth man next week!”
Max: ‘Walter will show next week he’s a fine goalkeeper’
Phillip Max has also relished the tremendous atmosphere at Ibrox. “It was just great to play this game here”, he said after the game. “Actually I’m already looking forward to the return leg in the Philips Stadion. We stand a good chance to book a spot in the group stages. We are so close now”, said the German left-wing back who stuck up for Walter Benitez. PSV’s goalkeeper was at fault for Rangers’ second goal. “Things like that happen in football but I am confident Walter will show next week that he is a very fine goalkeeper.”