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Eredivisie

Ajax smash five past Sparta Rotterdam

Ajax moved back to within seven points of Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven after coming from behind to beat Sparta Rotterdam 5-2 on Sunday.

Victories in their two Eredivisie boosted Sparta Rotterdam's confidence as they aimed to pick up more precious points in their battle against relegation when Ajax visited Sparta Stadion on Sunday.

Dick Advocaat's Sparta side took a step in that direction when they opened the scoring on the half-hour mark - Michiel Kramer heading in after Miquel Nelom's corner kick was flicked on by Ajax's Lasse Schone.

Sparta's lead lasted for just over a minute though as Klaas Jan Huntelaar tapped in an equaliser from David Neres' pass moments after the re-start.

The visitors then took the lead eight minutes into the second half, with Schone's free kick beating Sparta goalkeeper Jannik Huth.

And Ajax doubled their lead before the hour-mark when Donny van de Beek turned to get past his marker in the Sparta penalty area and delivered the perfect pass for Justin Kluivert to score from.

Sparta looked to get back into the game from a 66th minute corner kick, but Neres tapped the resulting headed clearance into the path of Schone, who lifted the ball into the path of Hakim Ziyech.

The Morocco international surged forward from inside his own half and cut inside the retreating Ryan Sanusi before unleashing a fine shot that curled inside the far post of the Sparta goal.

Ziyech went on to complete a brace, curling in another left-footed shot in the 86th minute - this time from a free kick - to make it 5-1.

Sparta completed the scoring, with Sanusi blasting in a free kick in stoppage time, but the 'Castle Lords' suffered a 5-2 defeat and remain just two points above bottom side FC Twente in the standings.

Ajax, in contrast, remain in second place and cut the deficit to leaders PSV Eindhoven back to seven points.

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