Ajax showed no signs of a Champions League hangover as they cruised to a 4-0 win at home to Fortuna Sittard.
Dusan Tadic opened the scoring after just three minutes, pouncing on some sloppy defending, and had the last word following strikes either side of half-time by David Neres.
Coach Erik ten Hag told NOS his team had no trouble returning to the bread and butter of Eredivisie duty following their heroics in Madrid: ‘It could be a very good season and that’s what we’re aiming for. It’s going well and we’re making progress, but we still have to win the trophies.’
The Amsterdammers have the chance to close the gap on league leaders PSV to two points when they play their postponed home game against PEC Zwolle on Wednesday evening.
PSV laboured to a 2-0 win over bottom club NAC Breda on Saturday, though it took until the 71st minute for substitute Donyell Malen to add to Luuk de Jong’s early goal. The top two meet on March 31 in a match that will have a big say in the destination of the title.
Feyenoord stay in third place after a 1-1 draw at Vitesse Arnhem, but AZ Alkmaar missed the chance to close the gap as they played out a goalless draw in Zwolle, whose coach Jaap Stam will move to De Kuip at the end of the season.
A snow shower in Emmen prompted the introduction of the orange ball and it proved a lucky omen for the home side, who came from behind to claim a point against Heracles with Sven Braken’s header five minutes from time.
Emmen remain a point behind Zwolle, Fortuna and Excelsior, after the latter were edged out 1-0 by VVV Venlo, who had lost their three previous league games.
Heerenveen moved into the top half of the table as they won 3-2 at ADO Den Haag, with the pairing of Michel Vlap and Sam Lammers once again providing the cutting edge. Willem II prevailed by the same scoreline against De Graafschap to move closer to safety and leave the Superboeren four points short of the coveted 15th place.
Friday night’s match saw Utrecht and Groningen fail to find the net to leave Dick Advocaat’s side still searching for their first home win of 2019.
Utrecht 0-0 Groningen
ADO Den Haag 2-3 Heerenveen
PSV Eindhoven 2-0 NAC Breda
VVV Venlo 1-0 Excelsior
Willem II Tilburg 3-2 De Graafschap
Ajax 4-0 Fortuna Sittard
Emmen 1-1 Heracles Almelo
PEC Zwolle 0-0 AZ Alkmaar
Vitesse Arnhem 1-1 Feyenoord
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