No changes at the top
Both Ajax and PSV faced difficult opponents this weekend, in FC Twente and Vitesse respectively.
Earlier this season, FC Twente were one of only four teams to have scored a goal against Ajax. As in most of their games this season, Ajax dominated the game from the start. Against the run of play, it was Twente that enjoyed the first chance of the game: van Wolfswinkel hitting the crossbar and straightening Ajax’s focus.
Klassen and Ajax responded in kind, opening the scoring on the half-hour mark from a corner. Before the half-time interval, Unnerstall in the Twente goal had made good stops from Tadic and Klassen again to stop the deficit getting worse. Eventually, after half-time, the pressure gave way to a flurry of Ajax goals. Haller was quickest to pounce on a rebound, which broke Twente’s defensive resolve. In the remainder of the game, Tadic missed a penalty, Propper scored an own goal and Haller scored two more to complete a hat-trick: rounding the game off at 5-0.
PSV’s trip to Arnhem has previously been a difficult game. Vitesse have conceded 11 goals in their last three games – each of which ended in defeat. In the KNVB Beker, the home side lost 5-0 to Ajax on Wednesday, and PSV would turn out to be of equal strength.
After a solo run but Madueke, Zahavi was on call to easily make it 1-0. Mauro Junior quickly doubled the score for PSV, and it looked to be a long day ahead for Vitesse. Madueke’s individual brilliance again was crucial in assisting Gakpo to make it 3-0 after 30 minutes.
Carlos Vinicius and Ritsu Doan both added goals in the second half to finish the game at 5-0.
Feyenoord and AZ also get wins
Feyenoord, who trail PSV by just one point, had a difficult afternoon in Waalwijk. The first half was limited to half-chances until RKC goalkeeper Vaessen misjudged a long ball, giving Kokcu an easy chance to make it 1-0 just before half-time. In the second half, Odgaard had a critical chance to equalise for Waalwijk, but Bijlow made a crucial save for Feyenoord. The away side waited until the 89th minute to double their lead – Hendrix finishing a tidy counter-attacking move to seal the three points for Feyenoord.
AZ Alkmaar had a slow start in Deventer and Go Ahead Eagles took the lead when Brouwers scored. They didn’t have long to celebrating their lead; AZ had scored three goals in the following 15 minutes. They added a fourth in second half to cap a strong win. AZ have now won 13 of their 14 games and are rapidly gaining on Feyenoord and PSV.
Willem II drop nearer the bottom three
Sparta Rotterdam found themselves at the bottom of the league for the first time this season after PEC Zwolle won a spectacular game against Cambuur on Saturday in a 4-3 thriller. As Fortuna Sittard also grabbed a surprising 1-0 win in Groningen, Sparta had to bounce back.
Willem II were the ideal opponent to allow this, having been the last team that Sparta had defeated, winning 3-0 back in November. In a sloppy game, Willem II showed little intention of anything beyond defending, while Sparta took the impetus in the game. Namli’s second-half goal proved to be the winner, moving Sparta off the bottom of the table.
Stand na 22 speelrondes 🏆⚽️ pic.twitter.com/o8xD91juVa
— Eredivisie (@eredivisie) February 13, 2022