Nightmare in the Netherlands

DUNDEE United were rightly showered with praise for their first-leg win over AZ Alkmaar last week.

Jack Ross' side were resolute in defence and carried a threat going forward as they grabbed a 1-0 victory last week. Tonight, they were the opposite.

It was a disastrous night for Ross and his side with the defence all but disintegrating in horror periods on the European stage and the attack blunt.

For the first 20 minutes, United looked steady, if not threatening. But from then on it was brutal viewing for the travelling United supporters.

No less than five goals were shipped in the first-half with the players looking devoid of confidence as AZ netted four times within 13 minutes before the break.

The tie was over at the break, but United could have redeemed themselves somewhat with a better showing in the second half. However, United were well beaten all night with deflected efforts the only thing close for the Terrors other than Ian Harkes tremendous overhead kick effort in the first period.

Defensive disaster

UNITED were first broken by a decent opener from AZ Alkmaar - but from then on the defending was questionable at best.

Last week Ross' side were compact and hard to beat at the back but after Alkmaar notched a couple the defence folded in the Netherlands.

It was a difficult night for Aziz Behich to make his debut for United - he'll clearly have better matches in United colours

Keeper Mark Birighitti also suffered a nightmare evening as he was at fault for Alkmaar's third goal. The Pavlidis opener was a slcik attacking move, Reijnders' finish was a decent strike from distance but Pavlidis' header was a gift after Birighitti completely missed his punch.

Reijnders was then more than happy to tuck home after slack defending in the box before Evjen was afforded time on the edge of the box and fired into the top corner.

De Wit's strike to make it six was unfortunate after a ricochet in the box but slack defending again allowed AZ to score a seventh with Lahdo sliding home.

Alkmaar offensive

While Dundee United were far from their best in the Netherlands it was a hugely improved performance from the hosts.

AZ were nothing special in Dundee but on their on patch the club looked completely different as they sliced United open time and time again with slick play.

Some of the goals may have been gifts from United but on a number of occasions Alkmaar showed their guile and craft with excellent build-up and finishing.