PSV breeze past NEC to close gap on Eredivisie leaders Ajax

Luuk de Jong (centre) was on the mark for PSV against NEC. Photo: ANP/Olaf Kraak
Luuk de Jong (centre) was on the mark for PSV against NEC. Photo: ANP/Olaf Kraak

PSV took full advantage of Ajax’s inactivity to close the gap at the top of the Eredivisie to one point with a comfortable 3-0 win at home to NEC.

Anwar El Ghazi gave the home side the lead after 18 minutes when he put away Cody Gakpo’s cross.

Luuk de Jong showed nerves of steel to stroke in a penalty shortly after half-time, following a long delay while the video referee verified a foul by Philippe Sandler, before English winger Noni Madueke celebrated his return from injury with a late third, again set up by Gakpo.

AZ moved up to third place by beating bottom side Volendam 2-1 despite being reduced to 10 men when Dani de Wit was sent off after just 14 minutes for a heavy tackle on Robert Mühren.

Jens Odgaard gave AZ the lead six minutes later when his shot was deflected over the head of Filip Stankovic, before Tijjani Reijnders doubled the lead with a counter-attack just before half-time. Voldendam’s only response after the break was a point-blank volley by Henk Veerman.

Two for Steijn

Twente also stayed in the hunt with their third league win in a row against RKC thanks to two goals by Sem Steijn. The 20-year-old took his tally for the season to four despite only starting two matches because of an enforced spell on the sidelines recovering from concussion.

Sparta inflicted Julio Velasquéz’s first defeat as manager of Fortuna Sittard since he took over in mid-September, following three wins and two draws. Arno Verscheuren scored twice and Vito van Crooij bagged a penalty as Sparta came back from Tijjani Noslin’s early strike for the visitors.

Utrecht won 2-1 at Heerenveen to leapfrog the Frisian side, who went ahead in the first half through Sydney van Hooijdonk and missed several good chances to extend their lead, but were punished for some slack defending by Anastasios Duvikas and Modibo Sagnan.

Go Ahead Eagles ended a run of four successive draws with a 3-1 win over Excelsior, while Emmen moved a point clear of Volendam at the bottom after a 0-0 draw against northern rivals Groningen.


Go Ahead Eagles 3-1 Excelsior

Heerenveen 1-2 Utrecht

Sparta Rotterdam 3-1 Fortuna Sittard


AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Voldendam

Emmen 0-0 Groningen

PSV Eindhoven 3-0 NEC Nijmegen

Twente Enschede 2-0 RKC Waalwijk


Ajax v Vitesse Arnhem (playing November 9)

Feyenoord v Cambuur Leeuwarden (playing November 10)

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