FC Girondins de Bordeaux turned on the style in the first half to record a first away victory in UEFA Champions League Group C against a PSV Eindhoven side whose place in the knockout rounds was already secure.
Today is Sinterklaas, the Dutch equivalent of Christmas, when Saint Nicholas and his helpers deliver presents to the nation's children. The normally Scrooge-like PSV defence entered into the spirit in the opening 45 minutes, as Julien Faubert, Stéphane Dalmat and Jean-Claude Darcheville all scored for UEFA Cup-bound Bordeaux. An 87th-minute Alex free-kick failed to brighten the occasion for the home crowd, who can at least look forward to greater challenges in the new year.
With qualification assured, PSV coach Ronald Koeman fielded an adventurous 4-3-3 formation in which talented 18-year-old Ismaïl Aissati partnered Jefferson Farfán and Diego Tardelli in attack. The flip side was that the system created space for Bordeaux to exploit, which they almost did to effect after five minutes when Heurelho Gomes dived at full stretch to keep out a Darcheville header. Two minutes later the French visitors went one better with a superbly-worked goal, Darcheville turning sharply in midfield before playing a delicious through-ball for Faubert who outstripped the PSV defence and calmly rolled the ball under Gomes.
PSV nearly equalised a minute later, Farfán's low drive fizzing narrowly wide, and the hosts spurned an even better chance to level matters on the quarter-hour when the unmarked Tardelli volleyed over from close range following excellent interplay involving Alex, Farfán and Edison Méndez. With the pressure off both teams, the fans were being treated to an engaging contest. Alex pushed up to support his forwards and Bordeaux always looked to break quickly. There was plenty of bite too, Méndez earning a yellow card after 20 minutes for clattering into Pierre Ducasse.
Faubert was then unable to double his tally when failing to connect with Darcheville's deep cross, yet PSV were powerless to prevent Dalmat breaking from inside his own half and charging towards goal before sidestepping Alex and clipping the ball over Gomes with the most delightful of chips from 22 metres. Having scored just three times in five previous Group C outings, Les Marine et Blanc matched that total with just 37 minutes gone in Eindhoven as Lilian Laslandes opened up the home rearguard with a clever pass and Darcheville did the rest, rounding Gomes before slotting into an empty net.
PSV brought on Patrick Kluivert and Arouna Koné to bolster their attack at the break, yet it was captain Phillip Cocu who registered his side's first attempt of note with a rasping drive that Ulrich Ramé turned behind. Another Cocu effort whistled past the post to spark a period of home pressure which only bore fruit late on, when Alex blasted in a free-kick from just outside the area.