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Eredivisie round-up: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar goal gives Ajax three-point lead in title race

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar for Ajax
Image: Klaas-Jan Huntelaar came on, scored, and was sent off inside 25 minutes

Ajax edged three points ahead of PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie title race with a hard-fought 1-0 win at FC Groningen.

The Amsterdam giants came into the match in buoyant mood after beating Juventus in midweek to reach the Champions League semi-finals, but they found mid-table Groningen a tough nut to crack.

In the end, it needed a 79th-minute winner from substitute Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to earn Erik Ten Hag's men a fifth successive league win and keep their noses in front of PSV, who host ADO Den Haag on Sunday.

In an eventful cameo, Huntelaar, who had only come on in the 60th minute, was sent off with five minutes remaining - but Ajax held on.

Third-placed Feyenoord, meanwhile, recovered from a goal down to beat fourth-placed AZ Alkmaar 2-1 and take a huge step towards clinching a top-three finish.

Mats Seuntjens gave AZ a half-time lead, but Feyenoord responded with efforts from Tyrell Malacia and Robin van Persie to move seven points clear of their opponents.

Robin van Persie of Feyenoord looks on during the Eredivisie match between De Graafschap and Feyenoord at Stadion De Vijverberg on August 12, 2018 in Doetinchem, Netherlands
Image: Robin van Persie scored his 16th goal of the season against AZ Alkmaar

Vitesse Arnhem and VVV-Venlo both celebrated 4-1 home wins on Saturday, beating PEC Zwolle and De Graafschap, respectively.

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Vitesse had to play with a man less from the 28th minute after Alexander Buttner was sent off, but still managed to claim a comprehensive victory, with Bryan Linssen netting a hat-trick. Mohammed Dauda scored Vitesse's other goal with Lennart Thy netting for the visitors.

In Venlo, second-bottom De Graafschap took a third-minute lead through Furdjel Narsingh, but VVV - who made two changes in the opening 32 minutes - hit back with efforts from Ralf Seuntjens, Peniel Mlapa, Jay-Roy Grot, and Moreno Rutten.

The day's other game saw relegation-battling Emmen defeat Utrecht 2-0 with first-half goals from Michael De Leeuw and Keziah Veendorp.

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