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PSV Eindhoven crowned Dutch champions

PSV Eindhoven were crowned Dutch champions for the 25th time on Sunday, the club’s first title since 2018, in a season also notable for the implosion of rivals Ajax.

Peter Bosz’s men made sure of the Eredivisie trophy with two games to spare via a 4-2 win over Sparta Rotterdam in a party atmosphere at a sunny Philips Stadion.

This meant second-placed Feyenoord could no longer catch PSV, who celebrated in front of their jubilant fans at the final whistle.

It has been a season to remember for the Eindhoven club whose shirt has been graced by Brazilians Romario and Ronaldo, as well as Dutch legends Mark van Bommel and Arjen Robben.

They went 17 games before even dropping a point in the Eredivisie, finally losing their unbeaten record on the 27th matchday with a 3-1 loss away to NEC Nijmegen.

Particularly sweet was a 5-2 win at home to Ajax and a crunch 2-1 victory away in Feyenoord’s intimidating De Kuip stadium, which set PSV on their way towards the title.

Central to PSV’s success this term has been the form of their veteran Dutch striker Luuk de Jong, whose 27 goals has made him the league’s joint top goalscorer.

This team has some way to go before matching the legendary 1987/88 Guus Hiddink-coached side that swept all before them, beating Benfica on penalties in the European Cup final.

But the Eredivisie trophy will assuage the frustrations of previous seasons when PSV finished second on three consecutive occasions, watching Ajax or Feyenoord lift the title.

PSV also enjoyed a good run in Europe, coming second in a Champions League group that included Arsenal, Sevilla and Lens, before crashing out to Borussia Dortmund in the last 16.

– Horror season for Ajax –
Feyenoord can count themselves unlucky to have come up against an all-conquering PSV this year — the Rotterdam club have only lost twice all season in the top flight.

The De Kuip faithful will settle for second place plus a Dutch Cup triumph but are set to lose their coach, with Arne Slot heading to Liverpool to replace Jurgen Klopp.

Meanwhile, Ajax fans would settle for anything after a season which would have Johan Cruyff turning in his grave.

The four-time European Cup champions seem unlikely to qualify for any European football next season, lying a shocking fifth — nine points behind AZ Alkmaar.

The 5-2 win for PSV over Ajax in October was doubly joyous for the Eindhoven club as it also, briefly, condemned their perennial rivals to a historic last place in the Eredivisie.

Historic low followed historic low Ajax, a club that counts Cruyff, Marco Van Basten and Dennis Bergkamp as alumni, as they crashed out of the Dutch club to amateur club Hercules.

The nadir for the Amsterdam club came in early April when they suffered humiliation in De Kuip, losing 6-0 to Feyenoord in the Dutch “Klassieker.”

Frustrations on the pitch have boiled over into violence in the stands and chaos in the boardroom.

CEO and chairman Alex Kroes was suspended on suspicion of insider trading, only to return a few weeks later as technical director.

A few days after his suspension, it emerged that club chairman Michael van Praag, who had vocally criticised Kroes, had “forgotten” to declare his own shares in the club to the correct authorities.

Vitesse Arnhem were relegated for the first time in 35 seasons after the Dutch federation imposed an 18-point penalty on them.

They currently sit on two points after their punishment for breaches of the league’s licensing regulations.