PSV Eindhoven kept up their 100% record in the Eredivisie as they began a crucial four-week spell with a 3-0 win against Twente Enschede.
The club from Enschede were expected to pose a strong test for Peter Bosz’s side, but suffered a crucial blow when Mees Hilgers was sent off midway through the first half for a flying tackle on Hirving Lozano.
Joey Veerman rounded off a move that started on the edge of PSV’s own penalty area for the opening goal on the stroke of half-time. An own goal by Robin Pröpper and a clinical finish by Johan Bakayoko ensured the league leaders scored three goals for the 12th successive league match.
PSV travel to Sevilla in midweek for a make-or-break Champions League fixture and play league champions Feyenoord in Rotterdam on Sunday.
Feyenoord remain seven points behind the leaders after a hat-trick by Santiago Gímenez took his tally for the season to 16 in a 4-2 win at local rivals Excelsior.
AZ Alkmaar moved above Twente into third place by beating Volendam 3-0 with goals from Ruben van Bommel, Vangelis Pavlidis and Bruno Martins Indi.
Ajax in top half
Ajax’s biggest win of the season, a 5-0 win against bottom club Vitesse, pushed them into the top half of the table, with 17-year-old left-back Jorrel Hato following up his international call-up by scoring his first senior club goal after three minutes.
Heracles won by the same scoreline in Almere as a hat-trick by Mohamed Sankoh and a brace for Abdenego Nankishi ended a winless run dating back to October 1.
Heerenveen moved up to seventh as Thom Haye struck twice from the spot against Fortuna Sittard before Moldovan striker Ion Nicolaescu punished a defensive slip to bag the third after coming on as a substitute.
Utrecht stretched their unbeaten run to five matches with a 2-1 win at Sparta, thanks to a fifth-minute strike by Mats Seuntjens and a close-range header by Isac Lidberg early in the second half.
Also at the bottom RKC Waalwijk ended a three-match losing streak by winning 2-1 at PEC Zwolle, while NEC Nijmegen drew their fifth game in a row at home to high-flying Go Ahead Eagles, who stay in fifth place.
Excelsior 2-4 Feyenoord
Heerenveen 3-0 Fortuna Sittard
PEC Zwolle 1-2 RKC Waalwijk
Twente Enschede 0-3 PSV Eindhoven
Almere City 0-5 Heracles Almelo
Ajax 5-0 Vitesse Arnhem
AZ Alkmaar 3-0 Voldendam
NEC Nijmegen 1-1 Go Ahead Eagles
Sparta Rotterdam 1-2 Utrecht
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