El Hamdaoui hits hat-trick
Mounir El Hamdaoui struck a hat-trick as AZ Alkmaar kept up their challenge for a direct Europa League place with a thumping 6-2 victory at home to bottom-club RKC Waalwijk.
El Hamdaoui set the ball rolling after just 38 seconds and while RKC equalised through Benjamin De Ceulaer the game was beyond doubt at half-time as AZ opened a 4-1 lead.
FC Utrecht kept themselves firmly in the race for a place in the Europa League play-offs as they claimed a 1-0 win at VVV Venlo thanks to Jacob Lensky's goal at De Koel. Ton du Chatinier's side now move up to sixth in the Eredivisie table thanks to back-to-back victories while their hosts remain firmly ensconced in mid-table after suffering their third defeat on the trot.
NEC Nijmegen were frustrated as Roda JC soaked up waves of pressure and completed a 2-0 smash-and-grab raid at De Goffert. Willem Janssen and Mads Junker scored against the run of play in either half as Roda pulled four points ahead of their opponents in the Eredivisie table. But the win was marred by the needless late sending-off of Anouar Hadouir for a shocking challenge on Neils Wellenburg.
FC Groningen leapfrogged NAC Breda in the table with a comprehensive 3-0 victory at the Rat Verlegh Stadion. Femi Ajilore did the damage with goals in the 31st and 45th minutes, leaving NAC with an uphill task in the second half.
It got worse for the host, though, as Koen van de Laak added a third 10 minutes from time and Donny Gorter was dismissed four minutes later to add insult to injury.