Second place still on as Feyenoord power past Vitesse

Goals from Graziano Pellè and Lex Immers earned Feyenoord a 2-0 victory against top-four rivals Vitesse on Sunday. The win moved Feyenoord into third in the table, level on points with second-place PSV with three games to play. It was a fully deserved win for the hosts, who dominated in every area against their high-flying guests. One disappointment in an otherwise positive afternoon was an injury to Jordy Clasie, who was forced off midway through the second half.

Coach Ronald Koeman chose John Goossens to come in for the injured Jean-Paul Boëtius. It proved to be a good choice, as the outside left, who regularly came inside, caused the Vitesse defence a lot of problems as well as supporting his own defence when needed.
Indeed, Goossens was involved in the first two major chances for the hosts. After ten minutes De Kuip got its first experience of his legendary swerving long-distance drive, which this time veered just the wrong side of the post. Not long after, he played a one-two to put Pellè in for the first time in the match. The Italian’s shot was parried by keeper Piet Velthuizen; Lex Immers put the rebound wide.
The tone was set for the whole match, as Feyenoord dominated from start to finish. Vitesse created little in the way of a threat, save a shot from Renato Ibarra that Erwin Mulder saved well.
The hosts, on the other hand, created a series of openings in the first 45 minutes, playing a patient game in the quest for the breakthrough.
It finally came just before the break. The ball was moved out right after a good passing move. Lex Immers headed the cross on to Pellè, who instinctively flicked the ball over Tomas Kalas. Referee Bas Nijhuis felt that the defender used his hands to control the ball as it came down and pointed to the spot. Pellè stepped up to convert the resulting penalty himself.
It gave Feyenoord extra energy at the beginning of the second half and Ronald Koeman’s men continued to call the shots. The reward came quicker this time, as Feyenoord doubled their lead within five minutes of the restart. Again, it came from a fast counter via Pellè and Ruben Schaken, who had the initial shot. The ball hit a defender and fell to Immers, who rifled the ball in for his first goal since 16 December.
The second goal left Vitesse with a lot of work to do, but apparently neither the appetite nor the tools to make a good job of it. As a result, Feyenoord were able to switch to cruise control and ride out the rest of the game without any problems.
Feyenoord – Vitesse 2-0
39’ 1-0 Pellè (penalty)
50’ 2-0 Immers

Referee: Nijhuis
Yellow: Van Aanholt, Kalas (Vitesse)
Feyenoord: Mulder; Janmaat, De Vrij, Mathijsen, Martins Indi; Clasie (65’ Vormer), Immers, Vilhena; Schaken, Pellè, Goossens (84’ Leerdam)
Vitesse: Velthuizen; Kalas, Kashia, Van der Heijden, Van Aanholt; Kakuta, Pröpper, Janssen; Ibarra, Reis (63’ Qazaishvili), Havenaar
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