Goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson admitted PSV Eindhoven did not make it easy for their supporters despite the 1-0 victory against AC Sparta Praha that ensured their presence in the round of 32 draw.
Article top media content
PSV Eindhoven's third home match in UEFA Europa League Group K ended up exactly the same as the other two: a 1-0 victory after a tight encounter which will certainly not live long in the fans' memories.
It might be of more interest to Andreas Isaksson, who has yet to concede a goal in PSV's five home European matches this season, but the Swedish international keeper preferred to compliment his team-mates for ensuring him a relatively easy shift against AC Sparta Praha. "We played some good stuff today," he said. "We put them under pressure for most of the game, so they didn't really get the space to make any chances. It wasn't a great match for the spectators but we got the three points and that's what counts."
His compatriot Ola Toivonen, who came on after an hour, was understandably delighted to have played a part in his side's triumph. "When I'm on the bench it's always my aim to get on the pitch and try and make a difference," the striker told uefa.com. "I think I left a good impression tonight." He did, however, find the game tougher than the previous two victories in the group. "They were very organised and played well in defence but we're doing the right things and playing with confidence, so in the end we got there."
One of the reasons for the lack of openings was the Sparta central defensive pairing of captain Tomáš Řepka and Niklas Hoheneder. The two were impressive throughout, repelling everything PSV threw at them – until the final seconds when Jonathan Reis poked in the deciding goal, despite the close attentions of Řepka. Sparta forward Bony Wilfried preferred to look forward, saying: "We can still qualify, so we will go to training and discuss what happened to make sure we're ready for the next game [against FC København]."