Ajax crush Alkmaar to stay in Dutch title race

15:15, March 07, 2011      

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Ajax beat AZ Alkmaar 4-0 on Sunday to stay in the Dutch title race.

Eredivisie leaders PSV had a narrow escape at Excelsior, recording 3-2 on Saturday, while reigning champions FC Twente defeated NAC Breda 2-0 on the same day.

Ajax enjoyed a noisy preparation for the match against AZ, because striker Mounir El Hamdaoui was banned from the first squad on Friday. According to coach Frank de Boer El Hamdaoui's behavior during halftime of Thursday's Cup match against RKC Waalwijk was intolerable. He was accused of being disrespectful, but El Hamdaoui denied those allegations. As a punishment he will be training with Ajax under-21 from now on.

Without El Hamdaoui and with Siem de Jong as central striker Ajax had no trouble at all with a disappointing AZ team. Demy de Zeeuw opened the scoring in the 5th minute and after that rapid goal AZ was not able to cause the home side any difficulties. After halftime Siem de Jong, Lorenzo Ebecilio and Vurnon Anita added three more goals. AZ substitute Graziano Pelle had only played three minutes when he was sent off for a foul on Dario Cvitanich. Ajax desperately needed the victory after the results of Saturday evening.

PSV were very lucky against Excelsior in Rotterdam. The league leaders were one goal behind at halftime due to a goal from Guyon Fernandez. Jeremain Lens and Atiba Hutchinson gave PSV the lead, but after a penalty by Edwin de Graaf in the 90th minute the Eindhoven side seemed to settle for a draw.

However three minutes in injury-time PSV were awarded a penalty as well when Danny Koevermans was brought down by goalkeeper Nico Pellatz. Balazs Dzsudzsak converted the penalty and gave PSV a 3-2 win.

PSV coach Fred Rutten was relieved after having seen the final minutes. "After all we can be happy with three points, especially considering the circumstances," he said.

FC Twente were struggling against NAC Breda on Saturday evening, but managed to get the three points. In the second half, Luuk de Jong hit the crossbar and five minutes later he did hit the target. Nacer Chadli made it 2-0 in injury time. The title holders played without defender Douglas, who was suspended for six matches after attacking the referee last week against AZ.

Twente coach Michel Preud accepted his team's poor performance. "We are very keen to play on three fronts," He told during the press conference. "The League, the Cup and Europe. In this stage of the season that detracts from our sharpness. I can accept that. "

On Sunday, FC Groningen suffered their third big defeat in a row, losing 4-1 at home to Heracles Almelo. Feyenoord booked their first away victory in more than a year at SC Heerenveen 1-0. Luc Castaignos, who will move to Internazionale next season, became match winner. FC Utrecht drew 1-1 against Roda JC, ADO Den Haag crushed NEC 5-1, Vitesse defeated VVV-Venlo 2-0 and on Friday De Graafschap beat bottom side Willem II 2-1.

With eight matches to go, the differences on top of the table stayed the same. PSV are leading with 57 points, three points ahead of FC Twente and five ahead of Ajax.

Source: Xinhua

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