FEYENOORD SINK AJAX IN EPIC
By Alex Livie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The game see-sawed from the kick-off, with Irish international David Connolly (pictured) handing the Rotterdam side an early lead, shooting past Fred Grim, but Shota Arveladze grabbed the first of his hat-trick shortly afterwards.
Arveladze handed Ajax the lead on 18 minutes, and it looked for long periods as if the Amsterdam side would move within a point of their rivals.
However, Feyenoord had other ideas, and three goals in 12 minutes in the second-half by Leonardo, Connolly and Jon Dahl Tomasson, the latter a fine solo effort, gave the visitors a 4-2 lead.
Arveladze ensured a frantic finish when he completed his treble on 84 minutes, rifling home a superb volley, but Feyenoord held on for a famous win - their first on Ajax turf since 1983.
Feyenoord now have 62 points with two matches left but Ajax, who are on 55, have one game in hand.
Roda JC`s outside chances of overhauling Feyenoord were virtually extinguished by a 3-0 defeat at Utrecht - a result that sees the latter move level on points with fourth-placed Ajax.
Dirk Kuyt opened the scoring on 34 minutes, but they had to wait until the final quarter to secure the win. Mitchell van der Gaag netted on 74 minutes and, as Roda pressed to get back into the game, Stefaan Tanghe added a third in injury-time.
Bryan Roy and Glen Salmon were the men on target as NAC Breda came away from NEC Nijmegen with a 2-0 win.
Elsewhere, Sparta`s miserable season continued as they suffered a 3-0 home defeat at the hands of AZ Alkmaar.
Sparta appear resigned to having to batttle in the play-offs, but AZ are trying to haul themselves clear and goals by Dries Boussatta and a brace in the last minute by Max Huiberts, the first of his pair being a penalty, gave them a 3-0 win.