With the winter break over, the eighteenth round of Eredivisie action got underway on Friday evening in Arnhem where a 67th-minute effort from Maikel van der Werff ultimately proved decisive as Vitesse edged out visiting Excelsior in a five-goal thriller.
Saturday’s action in the top flight of Dutch football began at the AFAS Stadion where AZ Alkmaar got back to winning ways by hitting FC Utrecht for three without reply.
Elsewhere, PEC Zwolle kicked off the Jaap Stam era in style by putting three past visiting Feyenoord while VVV Venlo made it back-to-back victories by hitting an undermanned ADO Den Haag for four on the road in The Hague.
The day’s Eredivisie action was brought to a close at the Hitachi Capital Mobility Stadion where a new-look Groningen posted their first win since the start of December by smashing Heracles for three.
Sunday’s action got underway in Tilburg where goals from Pol Llonch and Marios Vrousai saw Willem II claim the bragging rights against an undermanned NAC Breda in the Brabantse derby.
Elsewhere, bottom-of-the-table De Graafschap gave their survival hopes a much-needed shot in the arm by smashing Fortuna Sittard for five while two goals in the space of the final ten minutes from Nicklas Pedersen saw FC Emmen snatch a late share of the spoils in their clash with defending Eredivisie champions PSV Eindhoven.
The eighteenth round of Eredivisie action was brought to a close in spectacular fashion at the Johan Cruijff ArenA where a late leveller from Kik Pierie in the first minute of added time saw Heerenveen claim a last-gasp share of the spoils in an eight-goal thriller that also denied title-chasing Ajax the chance to replace PSV at the top of the standings.
Week 18: Results
Vitesse Arnhem 3-2 Excelsior Rotterdam
AZ Alkmaar 3-0 FC Utrecht
PEC Zwolle 3-1 Feyenoord
ADO Den Haag 2-4 VVV Venlo
FC Groningen 3-0 Heracles Almelo
Willem II 2-0 NAC Breda
De Graafschap 5-1 Fortuna Sittard
FC Emmen 2-2 PSV Eindhoven
AFC Ajax 4-4 SC Heerenveen
Team of the Week
GK – Warner Hahn (sc Heerenveen)
DF – Ricardo van Rhijn (AZ)
DF – Kenneth Paal (PEC Zwolle)
DF – Maikel van der Werff (Vitesse)
DF – Bram van Polen (PEC Zwolle)
MF – Youssef El Jebli (De Graafschap)
MF – Thomas Bruns (FC Groningen)
MF – Martin Odegaard (Vitesse)
FW – Sam Lammers (sc Heerenveen)
FW – Fabian Serrarens (De Graafschap)
FW – Patrick Joosten (VVV Venlo)
Player of the Week
Fabian Serrarens (De Graafschap) – 2 points
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