A shock home defeat for Feyenoord at the hands of Fortuna Sittard has left the Rotterdammers eight points off the pace as the halfway point of the Eredivisie season approaches.
Feyenoord manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst acknowledged there was a ‘world of difference’ between the recent performances that had hauled his team back into contention and Sunday’s game. Fortuna created several good chances before Lars Hutten opened the scoring on 51 minutes, and Ahmed El Messaoudi’s late strike sealed the 2-0 win.
At the opposite end of the table, Emmen sealed a dramatic late win in the northern derby against Groningen. Mimoun Mahi appeared to have snatched victory with an 87th-minute flying header, but Emmen substitute Nicklas Pedersen bundled in an equaliser a minute later and then completed an unlikely comeback three minutes into stoppage time.
Ajax showed no signs of post-Champions League fatigue as they thrashed bottom side De Graafschap 8-0. Hakam Ziyech and Daley Blind both took home match balls from the Amsterdam ArenA, after Dusan Tadic and Noussair Mazraoui had opened the scoring.
PSV dispatched Heracles Almelo 4-0 with first-half goals from Steven Bergwijn and the returning Daniel Schwaab. Mark van Bommel’s side had more breathing space in the second half following Jesper Drost’s dismissal and wrapped up the win with late goals by Denzel Dumfries and Gaston Pereiro.
A 3-2 win at Heerenveen put Utrecht clear in fourth place, but Dick Advocaat was unhappy with the way his side let the Frisians back into the match after going 3-0 up.
‘We were in control right up until they scored, had another two or three chances, then gave one away and you could see the panic rising. Totally unnecessary,’ said Advocaat.
PEC Zwolle and NAC Breda remain embedded in the relegation quagmire after their 0-0 draw on Saturday, while ADO Den Haag scored a vital 3-0 win in Tilburg on Friday over fellow strugglers Willem II. Excelsior also remain in the mix after going down 2-1 to AZ Alkmaar, as Bjørn Johnsen denied them a point with an injury-time header.
Vitesse Arnhem strengthened their hopes of a European play-off spot by beating VVV Venlo thanks to Oussama Darfalou’s 80th-minute goal, four minutes after Peniel Mlapa looked to have grabbed a draw for the Limburg side.
Willem II Tilburg 0-3 ADO Den Haag
AZ Alkmaar 2-1 Excelsior
Heracles Almelo 0-4 PSV Eindhoven
PEC Zwolle 0-0 NAC Breda
Vitesse Arnhem 2-1 VVV Venlo
Ajax 8-0 De Graafschap
Feyenoord 0-2 Fortuna Sittard
Groningen 1-2 Emmen
Heerenveen 2-3 Utrecht
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