Ajax shut out Anderlecht
Christian Eriksen inspired Ajax to a deceptively emphatic 3-0 victory over Anderlecht in a match in which they were second best for long periods.
But the Dutch side were thankful for Marcin Wasilewski's missed penalty and were also indebted to goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg for keeping them on level terms with a string of fine saves either side of Alderweireld's opener.
The first came from Romelu Lukaku's early shot before Lorenzo Ebecilio was off target with an overly ambitious drive from long range. Mounir El Hamdaoui twice failed to test home goalkeeper Silvio Proto from distance and Stekelenburg then had to be at his best to push Matias Suarez's shot around the post for a corner.
From Suarez's cross shortly afterwards, Kanu's shot was saved by Stekelenburg and the Holland goalkeeper was also equal to Mbark Boussoufa's free-kick from 30 yards. Ajax threatened after half an hour but Miralem Sulejmani's shot was held by Proto. But they broke through just over a minute later as Eriksen's corner was headed into the bottom corner of the net by Alderweireld.
Anderlecht went swiftly back on the attack and Boussoufa drew another fine save from Stekelenburg before the resulting corner was headed over the bar by Roland Juhasz. Stekelenburg held another Boussoufa effort to preserve his side's fortuitous lead into the break.
There was little change to the pattern of play early in the second period as Guillaume Gillet headed a Suarez corner over the bar. But the hosts wasted their big chance to turn the game when Wasilewski missed from the spot 10 minutes after the interval. Eyong Enoh had chopped down Boussoufa but Wasilewski ballooned the penalty over the bar.
And Eriksen inflicted the most devastating punishment four minutes later when he turned home Siem de Jong's cross from close range to double Ajax's lead. Gregory van der Wiel cleared Lukaku's goalbound header before El Hamdaoui forced a sharp save out of Proto at the other end.
The Morocco international finally found the net after 67 minutes, sweeping home Eriksen's cross from the right. Wasilewski headed Suarez's cross over as Anderlecht sought the goal their performance deserved, while Alderweireld could have added a final insult but headed wide.