FC Twente moved to the top of the Eredivisie despite being held to a 0-0 draw at home to mid-table RKC Waalwijk as the Dutch league returned from its winter break.
PSV Eindhoven, who had led the table on goal difference heading into the winter break, had suffered a shock 3-1 defeat at home to struggling Zwolle with defender Erik Peters being sent off on his return from a nine-month injury layoff.
Zwolle’s victory moved them out of the relegation zone and up to 13th, but FC Twente were not able to take full advantage of PSV Eindhoven’s defeat. They do, however, lead the standings by a point.
Ajax, who were also reduced to 10-men due to the dismissal of Ricardo Van Rhijn, were the biggest winners of the weekend as a 3-0 victory over fourth-placed Feyenoord moved them to within a point of FC Twente and level with PSV Eindhoven.
FC Utrecht’s 2-0 win on the road at FC Groningen kept them in sixth place but did put the pressure on fifth-placed Vitesse Arnhem, who were beaten 4-1 at home to AZ Alkmaar with Jozy Altidore striking a second-half hat-trick for the visitors.
The win eased AZ Alkmaar’s relegation fears as they moved up to 11th place in the table.
Willem II picked up a point courtesy of a 1-1 draw with ABO Den Haag but remain bottom of the table. Venlo are now just two points and a place better off following a 1-0 defeat to NAC Breda, whose 90th minute winner lifted them above Venlo.
Roda JC lifted themselves out of the relegation zone after overcoming NEC Nijmegen 2-0, but SC Heerenveen slipped closer to trouble after going down to Everton’s first minute goal for Heracles Almelo in a 1-0 reverse.
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