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.
On Saturday,PSVenjoyed another profitable day in front of goal as they thrashed NAC Breda 6-1.
PSV put three past Willem II in their opening match and doubled that return on Saturday with rising star Memphis Depay again impressing.
The 20-year-old Holland winger followed up his brace against Willem with another two goals, netting in the 51st – with a brilliant free-kick – and again in the 73rd minute to complete the scoring.
Depay’s international colleague Georginio Wijnaldum also struck twice in win, scoring in the 21st and 56th minutes, with Aleksandar Damcevsk’s own goal (25) and Jurgen Locadia (52) the other men on the scoresheet for PSV.
Adnane Tighadouini netted NAC’s response with a 30th-minute penalty, although his side were already 2-0 down at the time.
PEC Zwolle also boast six points from two games after grabbing a last-gasp winner against Dordrecht.
Zwolle took a 40th-minute lead through Ryan Thomas but looked to have thrown away their chance of the three points when, nine minutes from time, they lost Bart van Hintum to a red card and saw Giovanni Korte draw Dordecht level from the penalty spot.
However, with 90 minutes on the clock, Mustafa Saymak slotted home to give 10-man Zwolle a 2-1 success.
There was also late action in the games between FC Twente-ADO Den Haag and Vitesse-Cambuur Leeuwarden, both of which finished in 2-2 draws.
FC Twente struck first and last through Youness Mokhtar (45) and Shadrach Eghan (86) but ADO Den Haag netted twice in between through Roland Alberg (54, pen) and Mike van Duinen (77).
It was a similar story in the other match, where Cambuur took a 10th-minute lead through Michiel Hemmen but then saw Vitesse turn things rounds with a brace from Zakaria Labyad (19 and 37 pen) and the visitors were indebted to an 89th-minute equaliser from Bartholomew Ogbeche to snatch a point.
Feyenoord‘s bid to start their new campaign with back-to-back wins was frustrated by 10-man Heerenveen as they were held to a 1-1 home draw on Friday night.
Heerenveen, who were beaten by promoted Dordrecht in their opening match, lost Joey van den Berg to a red card on the hour but still managed to take a 67th-minute lead through Hakim Ziyech at De Kuip.
Feyenoord were level within three minutes, though, thanks to Mitchell Te Vrede and, with a man advantage, they must have fancied their chances of finding a winner in the final 20 minutes.
Last season’s runners-up could find no way past Heerenveen goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt a second time, however, and had to settle for just a point.