Rotterdam, Dec 5 (IANS) Feyenoord and Ajax continued their nail-biter battle for the top spot of the Dutch Eredivisie football league, beating Sparta Rotterdam and FC Groningen, respectively.

League leaders Feyenoord had no problems in the Rotterdam derby against Sparta 6-1 on Sunday.

Tonny Vilhena opened the scoring and Jens Toornstra, Nicolai Jorgensen (twice), Eric Botteghin and Eljero Elia lifted the goal tally to six. Sparta substitute Thomas Verhaar produced the late consolation goal for the visitors, reports Xinhua.

Without suspended captain Davy Klaassen, Ajax had a difficult afternoon against FC Groningen but won 2-0. Davinson Sanchez headed in the early opening goal from a corner by Lasse Schone.

Ajax failed to extend the lead for an hour, but was rewarded with a penalty in the 72nd minute after Anwar El Ghazi, who returned from a one-month suspension after a training ground collision with coach Peter Bosz. Hakim Ziyech converted the penalty, but the Moroccan international also missed a penalty 10 minutes later.

With the wins, both Feyenoord and Ajax walked away from league leaders PSV, who drew 0-0 at Roda JC Kerkrade on Saturday. Both Feyenoord and Ajax collected 36 points from 15 matches, but Feyenoord lead the table on goal difference. PSV trail by six points.

Also on Sunday, FC Utrecht beat ADO Den Haag 2-0 Willem II and FC Twente drew 0-0.

On Saturday, SC Heereveen defeated the Go Ahead Eagles 3-1, Excelsior and AZ Alkmaar drew 3-3 and Vitesse beat PEC Zwolle 3-1.

Heerenveen are fourth in the standings with 26 points, followed by AZ (25), Twente (21) and Utrecht (21).

    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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