The 2016/17 Eredivisie season opened with a flurry of goals as Feyenoord, Ajax and PSV immediately set down a marker in the race for the title.
Champions PSV squeezed past Utrecht, Daley Sinkgraven starred for Ajax while Eljero Elia hit an opening day hat trick for Feyenoord at Groningen, writes Neil Aderley.
NEC Nijmegen 1 v 1 PEC Zwolle: Stalemate in Eredivisie opener
PEC dominated throughout the first half and were rewarded when Queensy Menig fired home from the edge of the box. The second period saw a much improved performance from NEC but not before Anass Achahbar passed up a wonderful chance to double the visitors lead.
And Ron Jans’ side were made to pay when Reagy Ofosu collected a Dario Dumic pass before sliding the ball under Mickey van der Hart in the PEC goal.
ADO Den Haag 3 v 0 Go Ahead: ADO off to a flyer under Petrovic
A Mike Havenaar double paved the way for a comfortable victory for ADO in Zeljko Petrovic’s first game in charge at the Kyocera stadium.
Havenaar opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Edouard Duplan was sent tumbling in the box. And the big striker doubled his tally after nodding home a Ruben Schaken far post cross on 70 minutes. Newly promoted Go Ahead struggled to test the ADO defence and the three points were sealed late on as substitute Tyronne Ebuehi tapped in from close range.
Utrecht 1 v 2 PSV Eindhoven: Champions battle back to claim win
Second half goals from Davy Propper and Gaston Pereiro handed PSV all the points but it was far from plain sailing for the reigning Eredivisie champions.
Utrecht took the game to PSV from the first whistle and the home side were given a deserved lead when striker Sebastian Haller powered home a header on 15 minutes.
An impressive display from Yassin Ayoub should have been crowned with a goal but the diminutive midfielder could only find the side netting after yet more excellent play from the hosts.
PSV boss Phillip Cocu rung the changes at half time, replacing Steven Bergwijn with fellow debutant Daniel Schwaab and matching the 343 formation of the hosts.
The tactical switch paid instant dividends as Davy Propper fired home from the edge of the box on 51 minutes. The champions were now dominant and pushed for a winner with both Jetro Willems and Andres Guardado testing Robbin Ruiter in the Utrecht goal.
However Ruiter was left helpless on 78 minutes as substitute Gaston Pereiro struck a powerful free kick beyond the keeper to complete the turnaround for Cocu’s men.
Twente 1 v 2 Excelsior: False start for Twente in Enschede
Goals either side of halftime by Kevin Vermeulen and Leeroy Owusu stunned Twente and gave Excelsior a deserved victory in Enschede.
Twente, despite having Hakim Ziyech in the starting line up, failed to test Excelsior and the visitors were in front on 14 minutes as Nigel Hasselbaink broke before finding Vermeulen who finished smartly.
While Twente struggled to find a way back in the game it was Excelsior that looked the more likely to score and Owusu doubled the visitors lead on 60 minutes after excellent play from Luigi Bruins.
Despite Jari Oosterwijk giving the hosts a lifeline Excelsior held on comfortably to claim an excellent opening day win.
Willem II 1 v 4 Vitesse Arnhem: Willem II blown away by stunning first half Vitesse performance
New boss Henk Fraser witnessed a stunning first half display from his team as Vitesse got off to a flying start in Tilburg. New signing Ricky van Wolfswinkel opened the scoring on his return to the club, and the visitors raced to a four goal first half lead with further goals from Valeri Qazaishvili and a Nathan double.
A shell shocked Willem II managed a solitary second half goal through new Spanish striker Fran Sol, but it was no more than a consolation for Erwin van de Looi in his first game for the hosts.
Groningen 0 v 5 Feyenoord: Five star Feyenoord fire early title warning shot
An Eljero Elia hat trick helped Feyenoord power past a lacklustre Groningen at the Euroborg. Tonny Vilhena broke the deadlock on 20 minutes after good work from Elia and from that moment on Feyenoord completely dominated proceedings.
Elia quickly doubled the visitors lead after rifling home a volley from a Jens Toornstra cross, before the winger doubled his tally to virtually seal the win before the break. And Elia registered the first hat trick of the 2016/17 Eredivisie season by firing past Groningen keeper Sergio Padt in the 57th minute.
A miserable afternoon for new Groningen manager Ernst Faber was compounded on 85 minutes when Feyenoord striker Nicolai Jorgensen punished yet more slack Groningen defending.
AZ Alkmaar 2 v 2 Heerenveen: Schaars steals point for Heerenveen
A late free kick from debutant Stijn Schaars earned a point for Heerenveen in Alkmaar. AZ were given an early lead through midfielder Markus Henriksen but the lead lasted only six minutes as Arber Zeneli brought the teams level.
New signing Wout Weghorst brought in from Heracles to replace Vincent Janssen, put the hosts back in front from the spot on 52 minutes, only for former Dutch international Schaars to nick a point for the Frisians.
Roda JC 1 v 1 Heracles Almelo: All square in Kerkrade
Heracles were pegged back by a 73rd minute Adil Auassar strike as the teams played out a game of few chances in Kerkrade.
The visitors went into the break with a one goal advantage thanks to a Jaroslav Navratil strike, and will be left ruing the two points dropped after Ilias Bel Hassani put the ball over the bar late on.
Sparta 1 v 3 Ajax: Ajax take three points at newly promoted Sparta
Daley Sinkgraven was the star as the young midfielder grabbed a second half goal and an assist to give Ajax all the points in Rotterdam.
Davy Klaassen put the visitors ahead on five minutes but Ryan Sanusi replied for newly promoted Sparta just four minutes later.
New Ajax striker Mateo Casierra saw a header come back off both posts as Ajax gained more control, and the young Columbian would go on to claim his first goal on his Eredivisie debut.
Sinkgraven rifled home a Casierra pass after 57 minutes before the the ex Heerenveen youngster returned the favour for the Columbian to race in on goal and seal victory for the Amsterdammers.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation