Forty yard rakers, viciously whipped free kicks, bullet headers.  Penalties aren't quite the same are they?  But they all count and Ricky van Wolfswinkel is adding to his tally.  With his regular update from the Eredivisie, here's John Dobson.

Vitesse 0-0 Willem II
NAC 2-0 NEC
Excelsior 1-2 Roda JC
Ajax 1-2 Utrecht
Twente 4-2 Groningen
AZ 2-1 Heracles
De Graafschap 1-1 Feyenoord
Heerenveen 0-0 ADO
PSV 3-0 VVV Venlo

A few weeks ago, Ajax got past Willem II thanks to a brace of penalties from Luis Suarez. This week, it was Utrechts’s Ricky van Wolfswinkel who scored twice from the spot as Ajax were beaten by domestic opposition at the Amsterdam Arena for the first time since January 2009. The first penalty came from a ludicrous handball from Luis Suarez.  Exactly what was going through the Uruguayans mind is anybody's guess as he threw his arms way over his head to bat a high cross away - yes it was even more blatant than his World Cup transgression. Van Wolfswinkel's confidence is running high and the way he put the penalty past Maarten Stekelenburg summed it up, hitting it powerfully, high and to the keeper's left. Even if the Dutch keeper had gone the right way, he wasn't getting there. Eight minutes later and Edouard Duplan was brought down in the box by Eyong Enoh. Up stepped van Wolfswinkel again, placing a low shot to Stekelenburg's right; another classy spot kick. In a season that has seen a number of players struggle from the 12-yard mark, the young striker is right up there. And so it looked like remaining until the third minute of stoppage time when Ajax’s Siem de Jong rattled a 30-yarder into the top corner, but it came too late to alter the outcome.

With one of the four remaining unbeaten records ine the Eredivisie now gone, another one went south as well. Not PSV's though, as they saw off VVV Venlo thanks in no small part to the Brazilian Jonathan Reis. Ten minutes into the second half, after the first 45 hadn't produced much by way of excitement, a woefully under hit backpass allowed Reis to swoop for his first, taking it round the keeper and walking it into the net. Wilfred Bouma is back in Dutch football after an unhappy spell with Aston Villa and he leapt highest to nod home a corner six minutes later.  Reis completed the win which sent PSV back to the top of the standings, benefitting from Jeremain Lens's unselfishness as he squared the ball to the back post for his buddy, rather than take the shot on himself.

It's not Twente's record that's gone either, it's Groningen's who went to Enschede and suffered their first defeat of the season. More penalties here too, one from Andreas Granqvist in the 28th minute after Douglas had handled. The lead lasted just two minutes before Bryan Ruiz levelled as the Groningen penalty area turned into a duck shoot for a moment.  The Costa Rican keeping his cool when all around lost theirs. Luuk de Jong was brought down in the box a couple of minutes into the second half with a quality rugby tackle, but that cut little ice with the ref. Ruiz stepped up to put Twente in front. With eighteen minutes to go, Marc Janko headed in for 3-1, but Groningen were right back in it two minutes later, Tim Matavz controlling a difficult volley. Twente won it with two minutes left, Ruiz springing the offside trap and squaring to Theo Janssen who chipped the keeper - a party piece that is rapidly becoming his trademark. Janssen already has twice the number of goals as he had last term and an Oranje selection to go with them. He's playing the best football of his career.

With Ajax losing, just three points cover the top five now with Roda JC drawing level with Groningen after beating Excelsior on the plastic. If the artificial surface at the Verzekringen did hold a hoodoo, it's been trashed in the last fortnight with two losses for the Rotterdam outfit. Excelsior led at half-time through Wouter Gudde's header seven minutes from the break. Pa-Modou Ka headed Roda level twenty minutes from time and a third headed goal won it two minutes from time, Anouar Hadouir with the winner. Roda have lost just once, away to Ajax in week 2. They'll have tougher tests than this, but for now, they're right in there. Not so Feyenoord who are now without a win in four. Some awful defending allowed Hugo Bargas in for the opener on 20 minutes that saw De Vijverberg go mental. The Rotterdammers did escape with a point though, Giorgino Wijnaldum going down heavily in the box though contact appeared minimal. Luigi Bruijns converted the spot kick.

Willem II are finally off the mark, albeit thanks to a drab 0-0 with Vitesse and ADO were also held to a goalless draw by Heerenveen. NAC are on the heels of the top five despite that point deduction after beating NEC. Matthew Amoah got the first as the NEC keeper came for a hopeful cross and got nowhere near it and the win was sealed two minutes from time as Fouad Idabdelhay was given the freedom of the NEC box. Heracles remain in trouble after defeat in Alkmaar while AZ are going in the right direction. Willy Overtoom had Heracles ahead four minutes from the break with a low drive from 20 yards, but the teams went in level as Kolbeinn Sigthorsson's shot was deflected in. A goalmouth scramble a couple of minutes from time ended as the ball broke to Jonathas six yards out and he lashed in the winner.

Internationals take centre stage next week, so the league resumes a week on Saturday with Feyenoord welcoming Twente to De Kuip. Mario Been and Leo Beenhakker seem determined to see it through in Rotterdam, but we all know how fan patience can wear thin. NAC’s credentials will be tested to the full in Amsterdam while PSV go to Tilburg where Willem II will be long odds to add to their solitary point. Groningen will be looking to get back on the horse in a northern derby with Heerenveen.

Ajax v NAC
Utrecht v De Graafschap

ADO v Excelsior

VVV Venlo v AZ

Feyenoord v Twente

Willem II v PSV

Groningen v Heerenveen

Roda JC v Vitesse

Heracles v NEC

You can follow John on Twitter @Euroballs

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