PSV put themselves in pole position to take the runner’s-up spot in the Eredivisie with a 3-0 won over Ajax, on a weekend marred by crowd trouble that forced the abandonment of Groningen’s match against NEC.
Ruud van Nistelrooy’s side had the measure of Ajax from the start in Eindhoven and took the lead when Luuk de Jong headed in Johan Bakayoko’s cross.
Xavi Simons scored the second from the penalty spot after Ajax goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli brought down the midfielder, before his sublime pass set up De Jong’s second 12 minutes before the end.
The match was briefly halted early in the second half after PSV supporters threw drinks containers onto the pitch, under new rules introduced by the KNVB after Ajax player Davy Klaassen was injured by a cigarette lighter thrown by Feyenoord fans during a Dutch Cup match earlier this month.
Groningen’s home match against NEC was abandoned under the same rules after 18 minutes after an assistant referee was hit by a plastic cup of beer thrown from the stand. Police arrested a man in the stadium on suspicion of throwing the cup.
The rest of the match will be played behind closed doors on Tuesday. It is the second match to be abandoned since the KNVB brought in the rules, which say the referee must stop the game if players or officials are hit by projectiles from the crowd.
‘It’s unbelievable that an individual does that after everything that’s happened in recent months, especially in football. If you ask me they’re not right in the head,’ Groningen’s managing director Wouter Gudde said.
Last week the Eerste Divisie game between Willem II and NAC Breda in Tilburg was abandoned after 74 minutes, shortly after Willem II had taken a 1-0 lead. That match will also be finished in an empty stadium at a later date.
Feyenoord march on
Feyenoord shook off the heartbreak of going out of the Europa League in midweek to continue their charge towards the Eredivisie title with a 3-1 win against Utrecht.
Sebastian Szymanski opened the scoring after 15 minutes after good work by the advancing right-back Marcus Pedersen, before Santiago Giménez and substitute Alireza Jahanbakhsh found the target in the second half.
The results leave Feyenoord eight points ahead of PSV, while Ajax are three points further behind with four matches to play. The Amsterdammers have not finished outside the top two since the 2008/9 season.
AZ Alkmaar tightened their grip on fourth spot and automatic qualification for next year’s Conference League as they comfortably beat RKC with an early goal from Sven Mijnans and second-half strikes by Mayckel Lahdo and Myron van Brederode.
The battle for fifth place between FC Twente and Sparta ended all square in a six-goal thriller. Joshua Brenet opened the scoring for Twente after 22 minutes, but two goals by Tobias Lauritsen meant Sparta went into the half-time break in the lead.
Two quick goals by Dirk Abels and Vaclav Cerny turned the match in Twente’s favour again, but in the last minute Shurandy Sambo smashed home a loose ball to claim a share of the spoils, after Vito van Crooij’s free-kick rebounded off the crossbar.
A last-minute winner by Ole Romeny secured a crucial away win for Emmen at Heerenveen in their battle against relegation, while Excelsior dropped into the relegation play-off spot following their goalless draw against Vitesse.
Go Ahead Eagles took a big step to ensuring Eredivisie football in Deventer next season as goals by Willum Thor Willumsson and substitute Xander Blomme earned them a 2-0 win against Fortuna Sittard.
A pair of headed goals by Damon Mirani was enough for Volendam to take all three points against Cambuur, who will be relegated next weekend unless they beat Utrecht at home and other results go their way.
Volendam 2-0 Cambuur Leeuwarden
Groningen 0-0a NEC Nijmegen (to be concluded 25 April)
Heerenveen 2-3 Emmen
Vitesse 0-0 Excelsior
AZ 3-0 RKC Waalwijk
Feyenoord 3-1 Utrecht
Go Ahead Eagles 2-0 Fortuna Sittard
PSV Eindhoven 3-0 Ajax
Twente Enschede 3-3 Sparta Rotterdam
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