Ajax post impressive victory

Ajax responded to PSV Eindhoven's statement of intent with a 3-1 victory at AZ Alkmaar that keeps the title rivals tied for the early lead in the Eredivisie.

Ambitious PSV threw down the gauntlet by hammering NAC Breda 6-1 on Saturday, meaning reigning champions Ajax had to play catch-up when they visited the AFAS Stadion 24 hours later.

Davy Klaassen's 15th-minute opener was cancelled out by AZ's Steven Berghuis in the 50th minute, but Lasse Schone (69) and subtitute Anwar El Ghazi (90) pushed Ajax over the line.

Also tied for top spot with PSV, Ajax and PEC Zwolle on six points are FC Groningen, who beat Heracles 3-1.

Tjaronn Chery (eight) and Michael De Leeuw (35) gave the Pride of the North a two-goal lead and, after Iliass Bel Hassani (57) responded for Heracles, Yoel van Nieff (61) grabbed Groningen's third and final goal.

Excelsior were 3-2 winners over Go Ahead Eagles at the Stadion Woudestein.

Jordan Botaka (19) and Daryl Van Mieghem (59) saw their goals cancelled out by Erik Cummins (69) and Sven Nieuwpoort (75) but Sander Fischer ensured all three points stayed in Rotterdam by converting a last-minute penalty.

FC Utrecht won for the first time this term as goals from Jens Toornstra (64) and substitute Leon de Kogel (88) sent Willem II to a 2-1 defeat.

Attacking midfielder Rob Haemhouts (77) struck the Tough Guys' only goal.