Heading into the final week of the 2015-16 Eredivisie season, Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven were head-n-shoulders above the rest of the league but exactly level on points with each other. After 31 games, all that separated the two rivals was an insurmountable (at this stage) goal difference of six, in favor of Ajax, who faced second-from-bottom (already confirmed for relegation playoffs) De Graafschap on Sunday. PSV, meanwhile, were away to PEC Zwolle, who needed points to qualify for the Europa League playoffs.
PSV needed a miracle. They got one.
His name is Bryan Smeets, and 55 minutes after kick-off, he equalized for De Graafschap with his first goal of the season. 70km to the north, in Zwolle, PSV were winning 3-1. They anxiously awaited the news of the final whistle.
Second Eredivisie title in a row for PSV — Jeffrey Bruma as well, who made 9 appearances for Chelsea while still a teenager — and 20th overall (Ajax still in the lead there with 25 total).
Marco van Ginkel, who had come close to joining Ajax in 2013 before Jose Mourinho convinced him to join Chelsea instead, played a key role for PSV after arriving on loan in January. The former Dutch Young Player of the Year (while at Vitesse) scored a rather ridiculous 8 goals in just 13 games for the champions. Well done, Wulfert Cornelius! What a way to finally bury all the ghosts of injuries past!
Van Ginkel thus becomes the second Chelsea player after Juan Cuadrado to collect title-winning medals this season. Both loanees are expected to remain with their respective teams (PSV and Juventus) next season, though in Van Ginkel's case, unlike in Cuadrado's, it probably won't be a permanent move.