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Arne Slot's old club secures Eredivisie spot in chaotic fashion despite hat-trick for Spurs loanee

NAC Breda players celebrate with the supporters after the play-offs promotion/relegation final match between sbv Excelsior Rotterdam and NAC Breda at the Van Donge & De Roo stadium on June 2, 2024 in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
-Credit: (Image: ANP via Getty Images)


New Liverpool manager Arne Slot had a more enjoyable weekend than departing boss Jürgen Klopp. The German took in the Champions League final at Wembley, where he was rooting for his old club Borussia Dortmund, but Real Madrid once again claimed the trophy.

For Slot, who officially started at Anfield on Saturday, there was no time for jaunts back to former teams. But if he was keeping even half an eye on the fate of NAC Breda, he will have been delighted with the outcome — although his blood pressure will have suffered.

It seemed like NAC, for whom Slot featured as a player between 2002 and 2007, was in for a routine return to the top flight, ending a five-year hiatus. Having reached the promotion/relegation playoff final, it raced into a 6-2 aggregate lead against existing Eredivisie outfit Excelsior.

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But today's second leg did not follow the script at all, thanks in part to a forgotten man of the Premier League. A Troy Parrott hattrick and an own goal later, NAC's four-goal aggregate advantage had evaporated by the 50th minute.

Parrott, an Irish striker on loan from Spurs, netted 10 goals and registered four assists in the regular Eredivisie season. This was a reasonable return in a struggling Excelsior side, but he has exploded into life in the relegation playoffs, with this his second hattrick.

In total, the Spurs man has seven goals and an assist from four games in the Eredivisie playoff tournament. But it was not enough to secure Excelsior's future in the division, because NAC found a response through Casper Staring in the 58th minute.

There would be no further goals, and the remarkable and chaotic 13-goal tie ended up going the way of NAC Breda, despite Slot's old side having threatened to throw it all away. An Eredivisie club throughout the Liverpool manager's playing days there, they will now reclaim that status ahead of the new campaign.

Liverpool.com says: Let's hope this kind of chaos doesn't follow Slot around! It all worked out in the end for his old side, but NAC fans probably lost years off their life expectancy as they watched a four-goal advantage disintegrate.

As for the role of Spurs loanee Parrott in this little saga, his explosion in the playoffs is as impressive as it is surprising. The striker has just two Premier League appearances to his name, totaling less than six minutes, but the Ireland international will no doubt have suitors at a higher level ahead of the new season.