Ajax took advantage of PSV’s second home defeat in a row to stretch their lead in the Eredivisie to five points with a straightforward win at home to Heracles.
Davy Klaassen celebrated his return to the first team by bundling in the opening goal after 22 minutes, with Sébastian Haller and substitute Kenneth Taylor glossing the scoreline in the second half.
PSV, whose coach Roger Schmidt confirmed this week he will leave Eindhoven at the end of the season, surrendered a 1-0 lead at home to AZ Alkmaar in a game that turned on a blunder by goalkeeper Yvon Mvongo.
The Swiss, who was given a chance ahead of first choice Joel Drommel, let a long pass bounce over his head in the 75th minute, leaving the goal open for Jesper Karlsson to score the winner.
Schmidt said he had picked Mvongo because of Drommel’s poor form in recent games. ‘He was in good shape and good in training and in my opinion he deserved to play today, but it’s part of the job not to make mistakes.’
Third-placed Feyenoord took full advantage to close the gap on PSV to a single point with a 4-0 win in the Rotterdam derby. Guus Til’s two goals in the second half against Sparta took his total for the season to 13, making him the joint leading scorer with Sébastian Haller.
Sparta’s defeat leaves them just a point ahead of bottom side PEC Zwolle, who managed to claim a point against NEC despite the dismissal of Siemen Voet midway through the second half.
Willem II win
On a rain-soaked pitch in Tilburg, Willem II ended their run of 10 successive league defeats as two goals by Thijs Oosting and one from Jizz Hornkamp, both making their debuts, earned them a precious 3-1 win against fellow strugglers RKC, coached by Oosting’s father Joseph.
Fortuna Sittard moved ahead of Sparta as a brace by Zian Flemming condemned Heerenveen’s caretaker manager Ole Tobiasen to defeat in his first match since taking over from Johnny Jansen.
The Frisians’ former striker Henk Veerman made an instant impact for his new club, Utrecht, as he came off the bench to score the winning goal against Cambuur.
Utrecht were 2-0 down after just 12 minutes, but Veerman’s entry after just 30 minutes inspired a comeback that was completed when he pounced on a loose ball to fire home after 64 minutes.
Groningen’s Norwegian striker Jorgen Strand Larssen celebrated his 22nd birthday with both goals in his side’s 2-1 win against Go Ahead Eagles, while Twente Enschede stayed in fourth place thanks to a double by Ricky van Wolfswinkel against his former club Vitesse Arnhem.
Fortuna Sittard 2-0 Heerenveen
PEC Zwolle 1-1 NEC Nijmegen
PSV 1-2 AZ Alkmaar
Twente Enschede 3-0 Vitesse Arnhem
Utrecht 3-2 Cambuur Leeuwarden
Ajax 3-0 Heracles Almelo
Feyenoord 4-0 Sparta Rotterdam
Groningen 2-1 Go Ahead Eagles
Willem II Tilburg 3-1 RKC Waalwijk
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