AZ Alkmaar remains six points behind Ajax in second after a slender 1-0 victory over VVV Venlo.

The hosts went into the game on the back of their dramatic 2-2 draw against Partizan Belgrade in midweek. Pantelis Hatzidiakos suffered an injury that will keep him out for the season, with Teun Koopmeiners dropping into the defence. Jordy Clasie started in midfield while Yukinari Sugawara came in for the sick Fredrik Midtso.

AZ dominated from the start but had to wait until the 39th minute to open the scoring through Sugawara. He celebrated by holding up a shirt in tribute to Hatzidiakos.

AZ then had plenty of chances to kill the game off but Myron Boadu, Oussama Idrissi and Owen Wijndal all passed up good opportunities.

VVV were barely in the game but they could have equalised in the last minute. Elia Soriano troubled Marco Bizot with a fierce strike.

The 1-0 win keeps AZ in the running at the top of the table, while VVV are 16th.

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