Amsterdam: Larse Schone scored twice as champions Ajax Amsterdam made a winning start in their bid to win an unprecedented fifth successive Dutch league title by beating Vitesse Arnhem 4-1 on Sunday.
Last season’s runners-up Feyenoord needed a last minute goal to win 1-0 away at ADO Den Haag in a match which featured a Dutch league record 13 cautions.
Fellow potential title challengers PSV Eindhoven were 3-1 victors at newcomers Willem II Tilburg while Groningen came from 2-0 down to win 3-2 at Go Ahead Eagles.
Schone converted a free kick just after halftime and added his second right near the end of the game. Debutant Nick Viergever opened the scoring for Ajax before halftime and Mike van der Hoorn headed home the third of the day from Schone’s corner in a somewhat flattering result for the champions.
Substitute Mitchell te Vrede scored in the 90th minute to give Feyenoord’s new coach Fred Rutten a winning start after taking over from Ronald Koeman.
Den Haag were down to 10 men from before halftime when Mitchell Schet was sent off for a second bookable offence.
Memphis Depay, who only returned to training last week from a post-World Cup holiday, scored twice for PSV who went two-up after 10 minutes.
Jarchinio Antonia, playing against his former club, scored a dramatic winner for Groningen who were 2-0 down early in the second half but conjured up a dramatic recovery.