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Sporting profit as Ajax falter

Sporting Clube de Portugal triumphed in the Lisbon derby at SL Benfica, while AFC Ajax were shocked as rounds up the weekend's European action.

AFC Ajax slumped to a shock 4-1 defeat by FC Utrecht as they lost further ground in the Dutch Eredivisie, while Sporting Clube de Portugal produced an impressive comeback to defeat SL Benfica in the Lisbon derby as rounds up the weekend's European action.

Rampant Ramzi
Ajax were undone by an Adil Ramzi hat-trick against Utrcht at the Amseterdam ArenA, as they fell further adrift of the top three, who all won. The result sees Utrecht leapfrog their opponents into fifth, and Ajax are now 14 points adrift of third-placed AZ Alkmaar, who coasted to a 4-1 win at Roda JC on Friday, with Shota Arveladze helping himself to three goals. Jefferson Farfán and Philip Cocu were both on target as PSV Eindhoven beat ADO Den Haag 2-0, while second-placed Feyenoord triumphed 4-0 against Heracles Almelo.

Sporting success
Benfica went into the Lisbon derby on the back of eight consecutive wins, and looked on course for a ninth when Simão Sabrosa broke the deadlock with a first-half penalty. But Sporting were awarded a spot-kick of their own midway through the second half, which was converted by Sà Pinto. Liedson then scored twice to help his side climb into third place in the Portuguese Liga. Leaders FC Porto, meanwhile, could not extend their advantage at the top as they drew 0-0 away to Rio Ave FC, while there was a 1-0 defeat for Vitória SC at SC Braga.

Missed opportunity
Club Brugge KV missed the chance to go top of the Belgian First Division on Sunday, and needed a goal from substitute Mannaseh Ishiaku simply to salvage a point away to KSV Roeselare. Leaders R. Standard de Liège were held by lowly K. Sint-Truidense VV on Saturday, while RSC Anderlecht lost to KFC Germinal Beerschot Antwerpen on Friday night. Fourth-placed SV Zulte-Waregem drew at RAA Louviéroise, while the match between FC Molenbeek Brussels Strombeek and KSC Lokeren OV ended 1-1. KAA Gent and R. Charleroi SC both picked up away wins while K. Lierse KV and KRC Genk won on home turf.

Celtic slip
Celtic FC's lead in the Scottish Premier League was cut by two points to eight after they were held to a dramatic 3-3 draw at home to Dundee United FC. The Glasgow side led 3-1 with eight minutes to go before succumbing to two late goals. Second-placed Heart of Midlothian FC enjoyed a comfortable 4-1 win over Edinburgh rivals Hibernian FC, which allowed Rangers FC to go third with a 3-2 away win against Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC. Elsewhere Falkirk FC defeated Livingstone FC 1-0, Dunfermline Athletic FC drew 1-1 with Motherwell FC and Aberdeen FC were held at home by Kilmarnock FC.

AEK shock
In Greece, second-placed AEK Athens FC were on the wrong end of a 4-0 scoreline against Iraklis FC. Consequently, they failed to go provisionally top of the Ethniki Kategoria with leaders Olympiacos PFC not playing until Monday. Third-placed Panathinaikos FC won 1-0 thanks to a Theofanis Gekas goal against Ionikos FC, while there were also victories for Egaleo FC and Kallithea FC, against bottom club Akratitos FC and Larissa FC. Meanwhile, Xanthi Skoda FC and OFI Crete FC drew 0-0.

Turkish postponements
Meanwhile, adverse weather conditions caused the postponement of the entire weekend programme in the Turkish Superleague. The games will now be played between 28 and 30 March.