The home team sat there like the mermaid on the rock in the harbor. At no time was the Danish team able to raise themselves against PSV, which did not make the same mistakes as in the first half of the home game.
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PSV entered the formation in the Parken stadium, which kicked off in Eindhoven at the start of the second half. With the exception of Olivier Boscagli who, back from injury, took over the place in the defense from Armando Obispo. But so with striker Eran Zahavi and Ritsu Doan, who kept Joey Veerman and Noni Madueke on the bench.
In that composition, PSV immediately put considerable pressure on the Danish opponent. There was nothing to be seen of Copenhagen’s great game in the first half in Eindhoven. The team surprised its own supporters there and, according to the Copenhagen followers, had never played so well.
PSV did not let it get that far this time. The people of Eindhoven also felt supported by an early goal from Zahavi. Nice preparatory work by Erick Gutiérrez and Mario Götze preceded this. But the Israeli’s effort was tenable for goalkeeper Karl-Johan Johnsson, who replaced the ailing first keeper Grabara. The way he dived over the ball betrayed a past in the Eredivisie, where many keepers perform that kind of antics. Johnsson spent one season for NEC.
Mauro Junior (r) tries to hold off Pep Biel.
Ⓒ ANP / EPA
The people of Eindhoven only experienced a tense moment when goalkeeper Joël Drommel released a high ball. But from a cross by Philipp Max, Mario Götze scored the 0-2 before the break. That happened after he had been given half a rest in the duel with FC Utrecht. If the load is a little less, Götze, who would like to win the Champions League again, can still excel every now and then.
The Conference League seems a more realistic goal for the German, who is five games away from such a triumph. PSV outclassed Copenhagen at times, which was lucky that Cody Gakpo hit the crossbar after a great move before half time. As the match progressed. more and more frustration crept into the Danish team. Denis Vavro hit Gakpo full on the already vulnerable ankle. He escaped red. Besides the PSV captain, there was another victim. Erick Gutiérrez was booked for protesting and was therefore suspended for the quarterfinals.
With Joey Veerman as a replacement for Gakpo, who previously missed a series of matches twice due to ankle problems, PSV continued. A beautiful attack over four pieces put an end to all Danish illusions. Veerman was involved in that. Götze mounted the attack, which ended up in Zahavi’s feet via Veerman and Doan. He scored his sixth goal in the last five games and led the party with the thousand fans who traveled along. A few minutes after coming in, Madueke even made it 0-4.