Eredivisie Roundup: Ajax win De Klassieker, Heerenveen & Utrecht falter again

Eredivisie

Vrijdag

Willem II claim crucial victory at Groningen

Groningen continued to struggle on Friday as they failed to overcome Willem II. Groningen winger Ajdin Hrustic was sent off in the 23rd minute for his second yellow card, awarded by virtue of an intentional hand ball. Willem II certainly capitalised on this crucial mistake when Fran Sol stuffed home Fernando Lewis’ cross from close range. Groningen had some good chances on target throughout the rest of the match but couldn’t finish one. Willem II move out of the relegation zone on nine points, but a struggling Groningen drop to 13th.


Zaterdag

NAC helpless to resist in-form Zwolle

Late in the first half, NAC Breda defender Menno Koch carelessly gave away the ball to PEC Zwolle’s Mustafa Samyak in the box before fouling him for a penalty. Bram van Polen converted the penalty and the home side was never able to recover. In the 82nd minute, Youness Mokhtar scooped a cross to Samyak, who happily obliged with a left-footed kick to make it 0-2. With the way PEC are playing, anything but a victory would’ve been surprising for the 4th-placed side. Meanwhile, NAC Breda have snuck into the relegation playoff zone in 16th.


Rotterdam derby ends level

Excelsior Rotterdam played host to cross-town rivals Sparta Rotterdam on Saturday, with the hosts drawing first blood. In the 55th minute, full-back Milan Massop cut inside from the left and rocketed a low shot with his right foot; it took a deflection and went in, 1-0. Sparta controlled the match for the most part, and it finally paid off in the 82nd minute when substitute Craig Goodwin curled in a free-kick to square the score. Neither side could break the deadlock after that, but the sides will probably feel justified in gaining a point each. Sparta rise from dead last to 17th and Excelsior to 11th.


ADO triumphant over Venlo

VVV-Venlo couldn’t stop ADO Den Haag from taking all three points at De Koel Saturday, despite the home side having more shots on target. In the 66th minute, Tyronne Ebuehi beat his marker down the flank, giving him space to send a cross into Erik Falkenburg for a goal. With the home side pushing men forward, Den Haag scored a second in added time, this one via Bjorn Johnsen. VVV have dropped to tenth in the league while Den Haag rise to eighth.


Twente dominant against Roda

A resurgent Twente side rolled past lowly Roda JC on Saturday. Oussama Assaidi scored a first half penalty to give the home side the lead, and after the halftime break his shot from close range pretty much put the game out of reach. Peet Bijen’s tap-in on a corner in the 73rd minute made it 3-0 to Twente, who have moved into 12th place in the table. Roda, on the other hand, drop to the bottom of the Eredivisie with only 6 points.


Zondag

PSV continue to roll against Heracles

Table-topping PSV Eindhoven flexed their muscles against a struggling Heracles side on Sunday. Jorrit Hendrix’ through ball found a blitzing Hirving Lozano in the 18th minute – the Mexican winger finished the chance to take his superb tally to 7 goals in 7 games. Marco van Ginkel continued his fine form as well, latching onto a header from youngster Mauro Junior for an easy score. Van Ginkel scored his brace in added time of the second half from the penalty spot after Heracles’ Robin Pröpper was sent off for a last-man challenge. PSV are riding high at the top with 24 points, while Heracles have fallen to 14th in the table.


Ajax triumph in massive Klassieker tie

AFC Ajax visited Rotterdam to face off against arch-rivals Feyenoord Sunday, but by the time the final whistle had blown it didn’t seem like a match at all. That being said, the final score isn’t quite indicative of the overall flavor of the match. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar rifled the opening goal into the top corner on 50 minutes. About five minutes later, Nicolai Jørgensen saw his penalty saved by André Onana. Feyenoord weren’t about to back down though, and only minutes later, Matthijs de Ligt’s careless giveaway granted Jens Toornstra an opening to fire home, 1-1.

The match quickly shifted momentum though, and Ajax were soon back ahead in the 72nd minute. David Neres dribbled the ball across the box all the way to the touchline, before crossing low for Kasper Dolberg to slice in the go-ahead goal. Neres was once again provider in the 88th minute as Ajax looked to close out the match. The Brazilian slid through a great through ball to substitute Siem de Jong – the veteran slotted in calmly. Dolberg, who hadn’t scored an Eredivisie goal all season until Sunday, latched onto a long ball in the 90th minute and dispatched a cool, lofted finish. 4-1 may be a flattering score line, but Ajax will be well pleased with how well they handled one of the two most important matches of the domestic season. With that result, Ajax remain in second place while Feyenoord drop to 5th.


Alkmaar control disappointing Utrecht

AZ Alkmaar proved too tough against Utrecht on Sunday as the home side ran out 3-0 victors. In the 21st minute, Teun Koopmeiners launched what is easily the goal of the Eredivisie weekend into the bottom corner from range. In the second half, Thomas Ouwejan’s cross found Alireza Jahanbakhsh in the box – the Iranian dispatched the goal for 2-0 with a sweet half-volley. In the 80th minute, Joris van Overeem was found in bags of space by Jahanbakhsh to finish the game off. AZ find themselves in a respectable 6th place while Utrecht languish in 9th.


Stunning Vitesse dismantle Heerenveen

At the seasons’ beginning, you’d have expected Heerenveen to at least come out victorious over Vitesse at home. However, the home side have faltered after their strong start and the away side certainly capitalized on this. Vitesse scored two goals from crosses, Milot Rashica (17th minute) and Bryan Linssen (36), before Navarone Foor ensured victory in the 50th minute with a shot too hard to handle for Heerenveen’s ‘keeper. Tim Matavz’s athletic finish in the 72nd minute capped off a statement victory for Vitesse, who remain in third place. Heerenveen, on the other hand, have dropped to seventh.


Performance of the Week: Alireza Jahanbakhsh (AZ) – 2 assists, 1 goal, 3 key passes

Result of the Week: Ajax – 4-1 away win in De Klassieker against Feyenoord

Disappointment of the Week: Heerenveen – 4-0 home loss to Vitesse