Mertens scores hat trick in PSV demolition of VVV


AMSTERDAM (AP) -Belgium international Dries Mertens and substitute Juergen Locadia both scored hat tricks Sunday as PSV Eindhoven beat VVV-Venlo 6-0 to move third in the Dutch league.

Mertens opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after a one-two with Ola Toivonen and doubled PSV's lead 10 minutes before halftime with a curling shot off with the outside of his right foot from the edge of the penalty area.

Venlo collapsed after being reduced to 10 men when striker Uche Nwofor sent off for his second yellow card.

Locadia, who made his league debut when he replaced Luciano Narsingh in the 68th minute, made it 3-0 in the 75th before Mertens completed his hat trick with a close-range shot four minutes later. The 18-year-old Locaida grabbed his second in the 82nd and third four minutes later.

"I said at the start of the season that he is a very good striker," coach Dick Advocaat said. "It is fantastic for the boy that he scored three times today."

United States striker Jozy Altidore raised his league-leading season's goal tally to eight with a first-half strike for AZ Alkmaar, but his team had to settle for a 3-3 draw with RKC Waalwijk.

Altidore also provided the pass for midfielder Adam Maher to equalize for AZ in the 86th minute to preserve the team's unbeaten home record, which now stands at 26 matches.

On Saturday, league leader FC Twente dropped its first points of the season when Christian Eriksen scored with a low drive in the 68th minute to give Ajax a morale-boosting 1-0 win ahead of its Champions League clash against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

It was a timely strike for Eriksen. The 20-year-old Dane has long been seen as one of Ajax's top prospects but has faced criticism this season for failing to contribute more to his team's performances.

"Eriksen is a developing top player and as a top player you have to step up in this sort of match," Ajax coach Frank de Boer said. "He answered his critics tonight."

Second-place Vitesse Arnhem remained unbeaten after seven matches by beating Utrecht 2-1 thanks to second-half goals from midfielder Marco van Ginkel and striker Wilfried Bony. Jacob Mulenga scored in the 71st minute to half Vitesse's lead.

Midfielder Lex Immers scored a second-half hat trick to lead Feyenoord to a 5-1 victory over NEC Nijmegen. Italian striker Graziano Pelle scored his first two goals for Feyenoord before the break.

"As a striker you always want to score," he said. "That's why I'm happy with my first goals for Feyenoord and with what we showed as a team."

Soren Rieks got the only goal for NEC early in the second half.

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