A great goal from Jesper Karlsson was enough for AZ Alkmaar to defeat Groningen 1-0.

In midweek, AZ saw off Lazio 2-1 in Italy despite being down to bare bones in defence. Yuki Sugawara was suspended for the clash against Groningen, meaning young midfielder Fedde de Jong started for the first time in defence.

In the 4th minute, AZ had the lead with Karlsson cutting in from the left before curling in an excellent strike from distance.

From that point, AZ didn’t kill the game with Sven Mijnans failing to pass Michael Verrips when through on goal. Groningen themselves got chances but Elvis Manu and Tomas Suslev both failed to net.

AZ held on and they climb above Ajax into second spot, while Groningen is 17th.

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