Robert Muhren netted two late goals to earn Sparta Rotterdam a crucial 3-2 victory over VVV Venlo. 

Dick Advocaat’s side knew a victory was crucial if they were to have any chance of avoiding finishing in the bottom three and they got off to a good start with Soufyan Ahannach firing them ahead after 19 minutes.

In the 41st minute, VVV Venlo had the chance to equalise when they were awarded a penalty, but Jannik Huth kept out Clint Leemans spot-kick. The host’s joy was short-lived, though, as a minute later Leemans did equalise with a shot from distance.

Leemans then gave VVV the lead seven minutes into the second half with a free-kick which took a deflection before finding the net. VVV should have increased their lead but Lennary Thy hit the post, while Ralf Seuntjens and Romeo Castelen were both denied by Huth.

Sparta made the visitors pay for their missed chances as Muhren equalised in the 81st minute, before the midfielder sealed a victory for the hosts in injury time after a clever header by Michiel Kramer.

The victory keeps Sparta in 17th but they are now four points above FC Twente. VVV remain 12th.

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