PSV Eindhoven struck twice midway through the first period as ten-man FC Metalist Kharkiv were brought back to earth in UEFA Europa League Group I.
Expectations were high among the home support following their 5-0 win at Debreceni VSC a fortnight ago. Yet if the torrential rain did not dampen spirits, a four-minute spell just before the half-hour mark did the job. The hosts emerged from it trailing to goals from Balázs Dzsudzsák, a penalty, and Marcus Berg. And, crucially, a man down after Cristian Villagra was sent off.
There had been little to choose between the sides until then as they struggled to come to terms with the inclement conditions. That all changed when Villagra was dismissed after clipping the lively Ola Toivonen's heels inside the penalty area. Dzsudzsák sent Vladimir Dišljenković the wrong way from the spot.
It went from bad to worse for Myron Markevich's side, as Erik Pieters' weighted pass released Berg. The Swedish international deftly chipped over the goalkeeper, and though the ball almost stopped dead in the sodden turf, it just about trickled over the line before Olexandr Romanchuk could intervene. It was all a far cry from a fortnight ago for Metalist.
It could have been worse before the interval, as Toivonen rattled the crossbar from distance with Dišljenković well beaten. Markevich had seen enough, opting for damage limitation after the restart as Sani Kaita was brought on to plug midfield. It brought some success, even if Berg, Dzsudzsák and Toivonen had chances to extend PSV's lead. The harm had already been done though.
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