It is 18th March 2007 (five years ago this Sunday) and as half time approaches Edgar Davids catches a volley so sweetly that it nearly knocks out Heurelho Gomes after rebounding off of the post. From the resulting corner Wesley Sneijder is able to cut inside from the wing and blast it past a probably still dazed Gomes to make it 0-2 to the away side in the derby.
Final score that day? PSV 1-5 Ajax!
It was drama topped spectacularly by the title race itself however between these two giants of Dutch football and Louis van Gaal’s AZ.
This was an Ajax squad featuring Stekelenburg, Stam, Vermaelen, Grygera, Heitinga, Emanuelson, Davids, Gabri, Sneijder, Babel and Huntelaar and even some fledgling performances from Gregory van der Wiel.
Ronald Koeman’s PSV meanwhile included the likes of Gomes, Alex, Reiziger, Salcido, Cocu, Afellay, Méndez, Farfán, Koné and Kluivert.
With one match to go, unbelievably, AZ, Ajax and PSV were all on 72 points. AZ had a Goal Difference of +53, Ajax +47 and PSV +46… (if you don’t know what happened you may want to watch the video below without reading any further down):
The final day would see AZ blow it by losing to relegation threatened Excelsior, Ajax poetically win 0-2 against Willem II meaning that PSV would have to have won their match against Vitesse Arnhem by 4 clear goals to have clinched the title. The score in that game? You guessed it: 5-1.
Phillip Cocu had scored the goal that won PSV the league whilst Edgar Davids would score the penalty that would win Ajax the Dutch Cup (against AZ). It was a fitting end for a generation of Dutch stars with Stam, Reiziger and Cocu retiring at the end of the season and Kluivert and Davids following suit shortly afterwards (if you ignore the Crystal Palace cameo) having amassed 393 caps between them for the Netherlands.