Feyenoord return to form with big win against AZ
Feyenoord put last week’s 1-0 loss at Sparta behind then on Sunday to beat AZ at De Kuip. Nicolai Jørgensen netted three times as the hosts ran out 5-2 winners. The other goals came from Jens Toornsta and Dirk Kuyt in a match that saw Emil Hansson come off the bench to make his official Feyenoord debut.
The hosts looked sharp from the moment referee Van Boekel got the match underway. After the loss on the other side of Rotterdam Feyenoord did not want to drop any more points in their hunt for the title.
Coach van Bronkhorst had been forced to make several changes to his starting eleven, with injuries to Brad Jones, Terence Kongolo and Eljero Elia, but not for the first time this season his side showed they could recover from a setback. The visitors were pinned back throughout the first half, but the hosts were dominant after the break too.
Feyenoord were also ruthlessly efficient when the chances presented themselves. The hosts struck three times in just over an hour to take firm control. Jørgensen had the starring role. The match was not a quarter of an hour old when he slid in his first, connecting with Rick Karsdorp’s clever through-ball to beat keeper Tim Krul. The Dane then turned provider as Feyenoord struck twice more.
Midway through the first half he played the ball down to Toornstra, who smashed in number two. Then, around the hour mark. He chested down for Kuyt, who scored with a bullet shot that went in off the post.
Feyenoord were good for their lead, but with the three-goal cushion they switched to cruise control. That enabled AZ to push forward themselves, although Kenneth Vermeer still had little to do.
That changed when Derrick Luckassen was left in space at a free kick, nodding in at the far post. It was a personal disappointment for Vermeer not to keep a clean sheet on his return from injury, but it did not really threaten the hosts’ lead.
That was mainly due to Jørgensen, who still had a couple of goals up his sleeve. With ten minutes to go he kept his cool to convert a penalty after being brought down in the box. Not long after he rounded keeper Krul to net his third of the afternoon.
Jørgensen was immediately brought off to a standing ovation, along with Steven Berghuis, who was replaced by Emil Hansson for his first ever competitive appearance for the club.
AZ did pull a further goal back near the end through Wout Weghorst, but the destination of three points were never in doubt.