AZ Alkmaar kept up the pace with leaders Ajax and PSV with a 2-0 victory over Heracles Almelo. It’s the fourth league win in a row for AZ.

With one eye on Thursday’s clash with Manchester United, Arnie Slot decided to give Calvin Stengs a rest with Albert Gudmundsson starting in the winger’s place.

AZ began the game on top but Myron Boadu was denied on three occasions by Janis Blaswich, while Oussama Idrissi fired a decent chance off target. After only 28 minutes, Slot was forced to abandon his plan to give Stengs a rest as he came on for the injured Gudmundsson.

Before the break, Blaswich continued to frustrate the hosts with saves from Boadu, Idrissi and a rocket from Stengs. Jonas Svensson also saw his effort come back off the bar and post.

Ten minutes into the second half, AZ were awarded a penalty for a foul on Svensson and Teun Koopmeiners slotted in the spot-kick to finally give the hosts the lead.

Stengs then settled the victory with two minutes to go as he found the corner of the net with a good finish.

AZ stay in third and can now look forward to their tie with Manchester United on Thursday. Heraclesa now sit ninth.

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