A stunning strike from Yassin Ayoub helped Utrecht to a 3-1 victory over Excelsior, who tasted defeat for the first time in five games.

The hosts only needed seven minutes to open the scoring with Gyrano Kerk capitalising on a slip to set up Cyriel Dessers to fire into an empty net.

For the rest of the first half, Utrecht failed to create much except for two long-range efforts from Urby Emanuelson and Sander van de Streek. Excelsior became dangerous just before the break, but Utrecht goalkeeper David Jensen kept the home side ahead.

Ten minutes into the second half, Yassin Ayoub fired Utrecht 2-0 in front with a stunning strike from distance which flew past Ögmundur Kristinsson. Eight minutes later, Willem Janssen netted from a corner to seal the victory for Utrecht.

Zakaria El Azzouzi pulled one back late on but it proved to be nothing but a consolation.

The victory lifts Utrecht up to fifth while Excelsior are 10th.

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