Narrow wins for top four keep Eredivisie race in the balance
All four title contenders in the Eredivisie managed 1-0 wins at the weekend to keep the race wide open with 10 matches to play.
Leaders Feyenoord toiled to overcome 17th-placed Groningen even after the northern side were reduced to 10 men early in the second half, but snatched the points three minutes from time when Oussama Idrissi’s cross drifted into the net.
At the Johan Cruyff Arena NEC goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen did his best to shut out his former Ajax team-mates, but was beaten in the 52nd minute when Mohamed Kudus squeezed in a shot at the near post.
Third-placed AZ Alkmaar emerged victorious in an open contest in Arnhem after Jesper Karlsson’s strike from distance caught out Kjell Scherpen at his near post in the 28th minute.
A close-range volley by teenage Belgian striker Johan Bakayoko was the difference for PSV against their Noord-Brabant rivals RKC, but the Eindhoven side suffered a blow lwhen Luuk de Jong went off early in the second half with an ankle injury.
Volendam scored twice in the final three minutes to move away from the bottom three against fellow strugglers Emmen. The visitors went ahead through a calamitous own goal, but their own defensive blunders contributed to the decisive strikes by Bilal Ould-Chikh and Daryl van Mieghem.
Sparta won the Rotterdam derby 4-1 at Excelsior to close to within a point of Twente in fifth place, as the side from Enschede let a two-goal lead slip to draw 3-3 at home to Heerenveen.
Utrecht rounded off a miserable week in which they were dumped out of the cup by amateur side Spakenburg with a home defeat to Fortuna Sittard.
Eredivisie top scorer Anastasios Douvikas put away a rebound to give Utrecht the lead after an hour with his 12th goal of the season, but Kristijan Bistrovic crashed home an equaliser 10 minutes later before Tijani Noslin found a gap between Ivor Pandur and the near post to complete the comeback for the Limburgers.
Utrecht 1-2 Fortuna Sittard
Feyenoord 1-0 Groningen
Twente Enschede 3-3 Heerenveen
Vitesse Arnhem 0-1 AZ Alkmaar
Volendam 3-1 Emmen
Ajax 1-0 NEC Nijmegen
Cambuur Leeuwarden 1-1 Go Ahead Eagles
RKC Waalwijk 0-1 PSV Eindhoven
Sparta 4-1 Excelsior
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