Twente loss sees McClaren pressure build
FC Twente dropped to fifth place in the Eredivisie table after a 2-1 loss at Heerenveen piled the pressure on under-fire boss Steve McClaren.
The former England coach has been criticised in recent days by Twente supporters, who have called for his sacking in the wake of a long winless run.
And their stance is unlikely to have been softened by another defeat, at the hands of Marco Van Basten's Heerenveen.
The hosts went ahead through Rajiv Van La Parra after quarter of an hour. Dmitri Bulykin levelled after 54 minutes but Heerenveen wrapped up the points when Alfred Finnbogason found the target 11 minutes from time.
Edson Braafheid saw red for Twente inside the final three minutes.
Vitesse Arnhem's unlikely Eredivisie title bid gathered traction as they ran out 5-3 winners in a entertaining contest at Heracles Almelo.
The league's top scorer Wilfried Bony was the star turn for the visitors, the Ivory Coast striker rattling in a hat-trick to take his tally for the season to 22 in 24 games.
Marco van Ginkel weighed in with a brace for Vitesse, while Heracles found the target through Lerin Duarte, Geoffrey Castillion and Ninos Gouriye and also lost Thomas Bruns to an 86th-minute red card.
The win sees Vitesse climb to third place, two points behind Ajax and five adrift of leaders PSV Eindhoven with both of those sides in action on Sunday.
Bony set the ball rolling with a wonderful, rising drive from 25 yards in the 19th minute and then turned provider for Van Ginkel to make it two four minutes later.
Duarte brought Heracles back to life with a goal on 31 minutes, but when Van Ginkel's second on 51 minutes was backed up another for Bony two minutes later, the match appeared to be over as a contest.
Yet Heracles refused to lie down and grabbed another when Castillion netted in the 73rd minute having just come off the bench, but the hosts' hopes were dented when Bruns was sent off for a second caution in the 86th minute,
Bony finally killed the game off when he completed his treble a minute into injury time, although there was still time for Gouriye to add Heracles' third.
Michael De Leeuw popped up with a stoppage-time winner as FC Groningen climbed to ninth with a 1-0 defeat of PEC Zwolle, who stay just a point above the drop zone.
Second-bottom VVV-Venlo pulled level with Roda JC inside the relegation play-off zone after posting a 1-0 win over RKC Waalwijk courtesy of Marcel Seip 31st-minute effort.