AZ Alkmaar spectacularly crumbled in Het Kasteel as Sparta Rotterdam came back from 4-0 down at half-time to earn a 4-4 draw.

AZ Alkmaar has had a poor start to the season and only managed two points from their opening three games. However, Arne Slot was able to name new signing Jesper Karlsson in the starting line-up.

After nine minutes, Karlsson made an impact as he set up Zakaria Aboukhlal to make it 1-0.

That started a barrage of goals for AZ that saw them race to 4-0 within the opening 33 minutes. Firstly, Dani de Wit netted after more good work from Karlsson, before Aboukhlal got his second. De Wit then headed in a fourth.

It should have been 5-0 at the break when AZ were awarded a penalty, but the usually accurate Teun Koopmeiners struck the bar. AZ wouldn’t have thought at the time that the penalty miss would have proved crucial, but the visitors then collapsed in the second half.

Sparta were given hope early in the second half when Abdou Harroui pulled one back before Dirk Abels made it 4-2 in the 64th minute.

AZ seemed to have quashed any chance of a comeback, but in the 88th minute, Marco Bizot brought down Aaron Meijers, earning himself a red-card and Sparta a penalty, which Lennart Thy scored. Then in the 90th minute, Sven Mijnans sealed a memorable comeback for the hosts.

It is the first point of the campaign for Sparta, while AZ moves onto three points.

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