PSV Eindhoven grabbed the 2015-16 Eredivisie title on the final matchday of the season, defending their crown in dramatic fashion by beating PEC Zwolle 3-1 on Sunday. Rivals Ajax only managed a draw at De Graafschap, handing PSV the title.
Ajax were among the first to congratulate the champions via Twitter:
Here's a look at PSV's celebrations, via their official Twitter account:
The two teams were tied on points entering the final matchday, with Ajax holding the advantage in goal difference. The Amsterdam team were expected to cruise to a win against De Graafschap, who will enter the relegation play-off, but Bryan Smeets scored a crucial second-half equaliser, and the hosts held on for dear life.
Luuk de Jong scored twice for PSV, who beat PEC Zwolle 3-1 to win their second title in a row and 23rd in the club's history.
Fox Sports NL shared the final minutes of both matches:
Ajax started the season as the slight favourites for the title, as star winger Memphis Depay, who led PSV in goals last year, left for Manchester United. The Farmers finished the 2014-15 campaign with an enormous lead in the standings, but Ajax looked much improved at the start of the campaign.
They kicked off in good form and led by three points at the midway point of the campaign, but PSV were never far behind. Ajax opened the door for their rivals with a 2-2 draw against Utrecht on Matchday 31, and while the team didn't drop a single point in the following weeks, the final match of the season made the difference.
OutsideoftheBoot.com noted this interesting statistic:
Losing the title like this is a major blow for a young Ajax team that fields a number of young prospects who may leave the club during the summer. The likes of Riechedly Bazoer, Anwar El Ghazi and Ricardo van Rhijn could all be courted by top European clubs—as may manager Frank de Boer, who hinted at a move to the Premier League last year, per BBC World Service (h/t Daily Telegraph's Chris Bascombe).
PSV coach Phillip Cocu did a fantastic job rebuilding the squad's attack after the loss of Memphis and Georginio Wijnaldum, who moved to Newcastle United, and he too could be a wanted man during the summer.
They will have to keep hold of De Jong and perhaps bring Maxime Lestienne to the club on a permanent deal to ensure a successful summer, but given the young age of the squad, they should enter next season as the favourites to win their third title in a row.