Once touted as Russia's great hope, Dmitry Bulykin is now the perennial journeyman.  On loan to Dutch side ADO, the gloves are off and Den Haag fans are seeing a striker in form.  John Dobson rounds up the Eredivisie.

Heerenveen 2-2 Roda JC

ADO 3-2 Heracles

AZ 1-0 Utrecht

PSV 1-1 Groningen

Twente 2-2 Ajax

Excelsior 0-2 Vitesse

NAC 2-1 Willem II

NEC 3-0 Feyenoord

VVV Venlo 1-0 De Graafschap

For long periods of Sunday afternoon, it looked like Willem II were going to break their seasonal duck. Andreas Landgren put them ahead in the seventh minute and it was well into the second half when they finally succumbed. Kees Luijckx equalised in the 65th minute and Joonas Kolkka won it with ten minutes left. That leaves them five points adrift already as VVV Venlo beat De Graafschap at home to put clear daylight between them and the Tilburgers. Patrick Paauwe had already had a penalty saved when Jorge Chula crossed for his strike partner Ruud Boymans to turn in the only goal of the game. It got worse for the Super Farmers when Vito Wormgoor was sent off in the final quarter. Heracles slip to second bottom after defeat in Den Haag. The Almelo side led early on through Glynor Plet, but they trailed going into the break after Lex Immers equalised and Dmitry Bulykin put ADO in front. Everton squared it up for the second time, but Bulykin struck a second time to snatch the points.

No change at the top as the top four all drew. It was a cracker in Enschede as Ajax and Twente battled to a draw. Theo Janssen was Twente's star man and he put the champions ahead in the eleventh minute as the Ajax defence stayed stock still playing offside, which Janssen wasn't even if Bryan Ruiz was. Janssen raced through and chipped Maarten Stekelenburg to the delight of the packed terraces. Mounir El Hamadoui had already missed a sitter by that point, but made amends after Nikolay Mihaylov spilled a tame shot at the Moroccan's feet. It really wasn't great goalkeeping. Luis Suarez struck the upright twice in the first half, but the sides turned round level at 1-1. Nacer Chadli tested the frame of the goal early in the second half, but cometh the hour, cometh the man of the match. That man Janssen was once again on target in the 61st minute, converting Luuk de Jong's cross to restore the lead, but it lasted just four minutes when Eyong Enoh thrashed in a wonderful 30-yard volley as Twente cleared a corner right to the Cameroonian. Chadli swung over a deep cross-cum-shot late on which struck the far post and came out to Luuk de Jong. His shot was brilliantly saved by Stekelenburg who turned it onto the bar, saw it come down off the post and back into his waiting arms having rescued a point for his side. Earlier in the day, Groningen found a late equaliser to square things up with PSV who were ahead just after the hour through a long-range Ola Toivonen strike, which somehow found its way inside the back post. It looked like being enough, but a couple of minutes from time, a long throw caused panic in the PSV box and Gonzalo Garcia was on hand to grab a deserved equaliser.

Feyenoord went down heavily to NEC and slip to thirteenth. Lasse Schone put the Nijmegeners ahead when he converted a Lorenzo Davids cross quarter of an hour in and that set up a first half which NEC dominated without being able to find the killer blow. Feyenoord did have it in the back of the net early in the second half, but it was correctly judged offside, but NEC continued to fashion the better chances, Rob van Dijk keeping them out with a string of quality saves. He was finally beaten eight minutes from time as he got in a muddle with one of his defenders and Rick ten Voorde stole in for NEC's second. The final cut came from a corner, Bram Nuytinck with a firm header to seal a win which sent NEC seventh. Vitesse got a much-needed win at Excelsior, the first side to come away from the Verzekringen with all three points this season, thanks to second-half goals from Dalibor Stevanovic and Ismail Aissati. AZ also got a vital three points at home to Utrecht whose inconsistency is Gertjan Verbeek's biggest headache. This was an open contest with plenty of chances, but just the one goal, Rasmus Elm with the slightest of headed touches to a free kick which was enough to turn it in. The draw theme was completed by Heerenveen though, who blew a two-goal lead over Roda JC - both from Bas Dost - by conceding twice in six second-half minutes to Arnaud Sutchuin Djum and Mads Junker and the Kerkrade side held on despite the late dismissal of Laurent Delorge, the Belgian midfielder picking up a second caution six minutes from time.

Next week, two of the top four do battle once again, Groningen going to Enschede to take on the champions. Again, it should be well worth tuning into as both these sides like to play some football. PSV should be fine with a home game against VVV, but Ajax might find it a bit tougher against Utrecht, albeit in Amsterdam. Willem II start the weekend with a Friday night trip to Arnhem’s Gelredome to face Vitesse. Another loss there and it’s really difficult to see how they turn it round.

Vitesse v Willem II

NAC v NEC

Excelsior v Roda JC

Ajax v Utrecht

Twente v Groningen

AZ v Heracles

De Graafschap v Feyenoord

Heerenveen v ADO

PSV v VVV Venlo

If you’d like to read more from John, you most certainly can, at the very splendid Euroballs.

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