AZ beat misfiring Groningen
AZ Alkmaar maintained their fine goalscoring form with a convincing 3-0 win over FC Groningen today.
Having hammered NEC Nijmegen 4-0 in their last Eredivisie outing, Gertjan Verbeek's men carried on where they had left off with Nick Viergiver scoring in the opening minute at the Euroborg Stadion. Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Rasmus Elm added further goals in the second half to move AZ three points behind early leaders FC Twente.
It took just 37 seconds for the visitors to break the deadlock with Brett Holman's corner beating the Groningen defence to fall to Viergiver, who tapped in from a few yards out.
Groningen came close to equalising after 14 minutes when Danny Holla's powerful left-footed drive just cleared the crossbar, and the home side had another great opening soon after through Lorenzo Burnet, who raced into the area but failed to get any power behind his shot with only goalkeeper Esteban to beat.
AZ responded to the spell of pressure with a great run down the left from Holman, who then worked his way into the area before hitting a left-footed strike narrowly wide.
The hosts had another chance to get back on level terms before the interval with Burnet's cross picking out Leandro Bacuna, although the midfielder put his effort over the crossbar.
Groningen spent much of the second half pushing forward in numbers, but their finishing was poor, and they found themselves another goal down 11 minutes from time when Gudmundsson carved his way through the defence before finding the top right corner with his right-footed drive.
It was a sublime goal from the Icelandic winger, and his team were celebrating another six minutes from time with Elm curling a 17-yard free-kick into the same corner to end Groningen's challenge.