The Europa League play-offs began on Wednesday with both Utrecht and AZ recording crucial away wins.

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Heerenveen 1-3 Utrecht

Utrecht went into the play-off’s as firm favourites after easing to fourth in the Eredivisie and they posted a commanding victory at our of form Heerenveen.

Sofyan Amrabat opened the scoring with a fine finish on 15 minutes before Yassin Ayoub headed in a second minutes later.

Just after the hour mark, Martin Odegaard pulled one back with a strike from the edge of the box. His first for the club since joining on loan from Real Madrid.

The departing Sebastien Haller sealed the win for Utrecht on 72 minutes with a clever backheel.

Groningen 1-4 AZ

AZ Alkmaar have a foot in the final after hammering Groningen at the Euroborg.

The game started every matched but just before the break Alireza Jahanbakhsh found the net from the edge of the box to put AZ ahead.

About Weghorst then fired in the second on 66 minutes before Jesper Drost immediately brought Groningen back into the game with a flick into the bottom corner.

18-year-old Calvin Stengs then netted his first goal for AZ with a fabulous finish into the bottom corner before Weghorst wrapped up the win late on.




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