A Zakaria Labyad double helped Utrecht to a 3-1 win over Sparta Rotterdam which ended the home side’s four-game unbeaten run.

Labyad missed last weekend’s match with Excelsior but back in the starting line up the midfielder needed only 37 seconds to open the scoring. Sparta lost the ball from the kick-off allowing Gyrano Kerk to break quickly and set up Labyad, who fired into the net.

Utrecht could have made it 2-0 before the break but Urby Emanuelson headed wide, while Yassin Ayoub had a strike kept out by Roy Kortsmit.

Sparta struggled to create chances but ten minutes into the second half they were level when Robert Muhren crossed for Nick Proschwitz to tap in from close range.

Both sides then missed great chances before Labyad fired Utrecht back in front with a free-kick, which Kortsmit should have saved but the goalkeeper appeared to be afraid of colliding with the post. Kerk then sealed the victory late on, outpacing the Sparta defence before slotting the ball into the net.

The win lifts Utrecht to fifth while Sparta stay 14th.

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