Utrecht have moved into fourth thanks to a narrow win over Heerenveen in a game marred by two late red cards.

The hosts started brightly and should have taken the lead on 25 minutes when Nacer Barazite raced through on goal, but instead of shooting the attacker tried to set up Sebastien Haller which allowed Joost van Aken to clear. However, from the resulting corner Utrecht led as  Soufyan Amrabat set up Andreas Ludwig to fire past Erwin Mulder.

Heerenveen barely threatened in the first half but they improved after the break and came close to the equaliser through both Martin Odegaard and Yuki Kobayashi.

However, Heerenveen’s chances of equalising were dealt a major blow seven minutes from time when Sam Larsson was shown his second yellow card for a dangerous challenge on Zakaria Labyad. Utrecht evened the numbers up before the end with goalscorer Ludwig also seeing red, but they held on for victory.

Utrecht now jump above Heerenveen into fourth after results elsewhere went their way this weekend.

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