Ajax back on top
A review of the weekend's action in the Dutch Eredivisie, as Ajax beat AZ Alkmaar to return to the summit.
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Ajax went back to the top of the Eredivisie with a 3-2 win at AZ Alkmaar on Sunday.
Two goals in three second-half minutes from Siem De Jong and Daley Blind put the Amsterdammers in control, but Markus Henriksen pulled one back two minutes after the break.
De Jong got his second just before the hour mark and, even though Jozy Altidore reduced the deficit to one again in the 74th minute, Ajax held on.
The win took them a point above PSV Eindhoven and kept them a point ahead of Feyenoord, who won 2-1 at home to FC Utrecht.
Graziano Pelle put the hosts in front after 32 minutes, only for Cedric van der Gun to level in the 59th minute.
But Darryl Janmaat restored Feyenoord's lead two minutes later to keep them firmly in the title hunt.
FC Twente won 3-0 at 10-man FC Groningen.
Leroy Fer opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time and Groningen's hopes took another blow when goalkeeper Marco Bizot was sent off in the 78th minute.
And the visitors took full advantage, with goals from Dusan Tadic (80) and Luc Castaignos (87) wrapping up the win.
Elsewhere, Willem II slipped closer to relegation as the bottom side were thumped 4-0 at NAC Breda.
Goals from Kees Luyckx, Mats Seuntjens, Elson Hooi and Danny Verbeek left the visitors five points adrift.
PSV Eindhoven and Vitesse Arnhem ramped up the pressure on Ajax in the Eredivisie title race as both advanced their own cases to be champions.
PSV were 2-0 winners at home against RKC Waalwijk to go two points clear at the top, while Vitesse thrashed ADO Den Haag 4-0 to join Ajax in a share of second on 54 points.
Ajax were facing a tricky Sunday trip to face an AZ Alkmaar side who last month knocked them out of the KNVB Beker with a stunning 3-0 win in Amsterdam.
An early goal settled PSV against RKC, with Dries Mertens converting a sixth-minute penalty, and Georgino Wijnaldum added the second goal in the 69th minute, a sweet chip from 15 yards.
Vitesse were impressive winners away from home, with Wilfried Bony netting after eight and 39 minutes to leave ADO with it all to do in the second half.
Marco van Ginkel added the third goal after 55 minutes and Mike Havenaar compounded the pain for the hosts with a fourth in the 84th minute.
Struggling VVV Venlo remain firmly embedded in the relegation picture after a 2-0 home defeat against Heracles. Everton scored the first after 61 minutes and Mike te Wierik followed it up six minutes later.
In-form Heerenveen came from behind to snag a 3-1 win at fellow mid-table outfit NEC Nijmegen.
Ruud Boymans set them on the back foot with a 62nd-minute opener, but Alfred Finnbogason levelled eight minutes later and it took only a further three minutes for Filip Djuricic to nudge Heerenveen in front.
Djuricic added his second in the 90th minute.
PEC Zwolle did their hopes of preserving their Eredivisie status the power of good as they battled back from an early goal to run out 3-2 winners against fellow relegation strugglers Roda JC on Friday night.
Visiting Roda took the lead through Sanharib Malki after six minutes but goals from Bart Van Hintum (10) and Youness Mokhtar (32) saw PEC come roaring back.
Roda equalised through Bart Biemans 10 minutes before the interval but the hosts made sure of a win that takes them four points clear of danger when Denni Avdic netted 17 minutes from time.
PEC, promoted last season as champions of the Eerste Divisie, began the night just one point and one place above Roda, but are now up to 12th place after their seventh win of the campaign.
Roda remain third-bottom, mired in the relegation play-off zone.