De Jong treble spurs Twente stroll
© AFP

Luuk de Jong scored a hat-trick as FC Twente defeated FC Groningen 4-1 and replaced Eredivisie rivals AZ Alkmaar in second place on goal difference.

AZ were surprisingly beaten by Roda JC yesterday, meaning a convincing victory for Steve McClaren's side today put the sides level on 39 points and comfortably ahead on goals.

De Jong scored twice in the opening 23 minutes to put his team in control at the interval, adding his third after Virgil van Dijk threatened to bring the visitors back into it with his 47th-minute effort. Leroy Fer completed the scoring in the 67th minute.

The match started on a sour note for Twente when they lost Dwight Tiendalli to injury in just the seventh minute, but the opening goal arrived not long after to raise their spirits.

Ola John provided the pinpoint cross and De Jong was on hand to head home from six yards for his 13th of the season. His next goal took just nine more minutes to arrive, John once again providing the assist and De Jong this time converting left-footed from ten yards to make it 2-0.

It was not until the stroke of half-time that Groningen created a decent chance, Petter Andersson finding the target only to see the effort ruled out for offside.

They had their goal two minutes into the second period, though, Van Dijk taking Dusan Tadic's free-kick on the chest and then driving home.

They could not build on that breakthrough, though, and Twente's two-goal lead was restored when the familiar duo of John and De Jong combined again. John provided the cross and De Jong headed past Luciano to complete his treble.

De Jong turned provider for Twente's fourth, breaking forward with Fer and teeing his team-mate up for a simple headed finish.