AZ Alkmaar and FC Groningen recorded impressive away victories in the Dutch Eredivisie on Wednesday night.
Alkmaar scored twice in each half for a 4-0 win over Sparta Rotterdam that lifted them to mid-table and left Sparta firmly in the mire at the bottom. In the night's other game, Den Bosch were beaten 4-1 at home by Groningen, a result that did the visitors' own survival hopes the power of good.
At their Eneco stadium, second-from-bottom Sparta got off to the worst possible start when they allowed Alkmaar to open the scoring less than 60 seconds into the game. Kenneth Perez pounced to knock the ball home from close range after Sparta goalkeeper Frank Kooiman spilled a cross.
Another defensive error saw Alkmaar double their lead after 15 minutes when Aron Winter gave away possession on the edge of his own penalty area. Olaf Lindenbergh gathered the ball before feeding Max Huiberts, who had an easy finish. Alkmaar had the game wrapped up seven minutes into the second half when Robin Nelisse tapped the ball home and Jannes Wolters completed the rout three minutes from time.
After their 4-0 victory, Groningen are still third from bottom but now trail Den Bosch, who are three places above them, by just a point. Arjen Robben opened the scoring for Groningen after seven minutes, firing home from the edge of the penalty area after the hosts' defence had backed off.
Ignacio Tuhuteru put the visitors 2-0 up after 22 minutes when he cut inside from the right and shot past Mampaey. Den Bosch hit back barely 60 seconds later after Tuhuteru fouled George Mourad to concede a penalty, which was converted by Bart van den Eede. But Rick Plum's mistake in his own penalty box was punished by Dejan Curovic from 15 metres. Robben capped a superb individual performance in the dying stages when he scored his second and his side's fourth.
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