AZ crush Vitesse in first 45 minutesPublished on 10 september 11, 00:00
AZ showed their threat right away in the opening minutes. With sometimes dazzling play AZ beat the living daylights out of the Vitesse defense. Within ten minutes Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Adam Maher, Beerens and Wernbloom had tested goalkeeper Piet Velthuizen.
The writing looked to be on the wall for Vitesse and it proved when Wernbloom headed home an Elm corner like he did against FK Jablonec and Aalesunds FK: 1-0. The Swedish midfielder doubled the score in almost the same manner when his header from a Gudmundsson free-kick hit the underside of the crossbar and flew into the net.
Even after the 2-0 AZ kept playing pressure and Vitesse did not know how to cope with the drive from Gertjan Verbeeks team. It took a lovely Maher through-ball to set up Beerens in favorable position in front of Velthuizen. Beerens stumbled but beat the goalkeeper with a magnificent chip: 3-0.
With half-time looming, AZ was granted a penalty when Wernbloom was fouled by Frank van der Struijk. Elm fired home his third goal of the season: 4-0.
That sparked the end of AZs goal scoring quest. After the break the enthusiasm had been dulled. Vitesse had lost all motivation and AZ could afford several moments of rest. Only when Vitesse striker Wilfried Bony was sent-off after his second booking AZ accelerated some more. It led to some precarious moments in front of the Vitesse goal in the finale phase of the match but Velthuizen did not need to surrender.
The result sees AZ take second place in the Eredivisie behind leader Ajax but ahead of reigning champion FC Twente on goal difference. The goal balance in the last three home matches is 14 to 0. Next Thursday there will be a new test case when Malmö FF visit the AFAS Stadium in the group phase of the Europa League.
AZ Vitesse 4-0 (4-0)
Lineup AZ: Esteban; Dirk Marcellis, Niklas Moisander, Nick Viergever (55. Ragnar Klavan), Simon Poulsen; Pontus Wernbloom, Adam Maher, Rasmus Elm; Roy Beerens, Jozy Altidore (46. Ruud Boymans), Johann Berg Gudmundsson (63. Brett Holman).
Lineup Vitesse: Piet Velthuizen; Michihiro Yasuda, Guram Kashia, Jan-Arie van der Heijden, Alexander Büttner (29. Frank van der Struijk); Anthony Annan, Davy Pröpper, Marco van Ginkel; Julian Jenner (75. Jeroen Drost), Wilfried Bony, Nicky Hofs (68. Giorgi Chanturia).
Goals: 22. Wernbloom 1-0, 27. Wernbloom 2-0, 38. Beerens 3-0, 45. Elm 4-0 (pen).
Bookings: Viergever (AZ), Hofs, Van der Struijk, Jenner (Vitesse).
Sent-off: Bony (70th minute, 2nd bookingl).