Ruud van Nistelrooij can’t believe his luck after PSV’s miraculous escape in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. The PSV coach has nothing but praise for his team, which settled with AS Monaco in an extension.
“It was a bizarre game. You drag out an extension, while that almost seemed impossible. This team just keeps going, that’s really unbelievable,” said Van Nistelrooij after the 3-2 win in the Philips Stadium. ESPN.
PSV seemed to be able to forget Champions League football, until Erick Gutiérrez signed for the 2-2 in the 89th minute. In the extension, PSV then pulled the longest end, despite AS Monaco’s dominance in the game, via a header by Luuk de Jong.
“There is so much character in this team. They never give up,” continued Van Nistelrooij. “The game image was clear today. There were few moments when we could play football ourselves, so we had to get it from somewhere else.”
Luuk de Jong was crowned match winner against AS Monaco.
‘Victory cannot be expressed in finances’
Van Nistelrooij was especially happy with PSV’s second and third goals, in which a diagonal cross led to the goal. “We checked in advance where we could get them and also pointed out that we could create a threat with the diagonal balls.”
“That they can still do that so late in the game despite the fatigue is very special,” said Van Nistelrooij. “In addition, it creates a huge release for the players, the staff and the supporters. Great!”
“This victory has enormous value, that cannot be expressed in financial terms. This is just a team that was very clearly the lesser team today, but still found a way to win. Nothing can beat that.”
PSV will compete for a Champions League ticket with Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Rangers FC in the play-offs. The first leg will take place in Scotland on August 16, after which PSV hopes to win the ticket on August 24.