In the run-up to the match coach Ronald Koeman warned his men that they had a hard afternoon’s work in store in Zwolle. That prophecy was duly fulfilled as the home side struck twice in seven minutes. The first was the result of an attacker’s defending – Pellè deflected a corner into his own net with the game just over a minute old – while the second owed more to a defender’s attacking prowess. Darryl Lachman ran onto a through-ball from Arne Slot, slotting home past Erwin Mulder with aplomb.
It was the worst possible start for the visitors, who found it hard to get in their stride as a result. Feyenoord had problems coping with the hosts’ positional play and routinely came off second best.
It made the visitors’ comeback all the more impressive when it did materialise. Ronald Koeman saw his side come into the game more midway through the half, but would have been frustrated with the lack of composure in front of goal. Wesley Verhoek, in particular, spurned a good opportunity to halve the deficit.
In the end it was left to top scorer Pellè to turn the game on its head in the space of 120 or so seconds on the far side of the half-hour mark.
The Italian’s first was a proper pearl. The hosts got into a flap in their own box, unable to hoof the ball to safety and Pellè took advantage with a net-bulging bicycle kick. The strike was Feyenoord’s 4000th in the Eredivisie, but the Italian was in no mood to rest on his laurels. Within a minute he had a second, heading in Clasie’s corner to even up the score.
It meant that Feyenoord went in at the break on level terms and the visitors went close to edging ahead not long after the restart. Lex Immers played in Tonny Vilhena, but the midfielder could not quite dink the ball over home keeper Diederik Boer.
Then, with around fifteen minutes left Pellè looked good for his third, but he nodded substitute Ruben Schaken’s cross just over from close range.
It proved to be an expensive miss, because PEC Zwolle managed to get the vital fifth goal of the afternoon soon after. Denni Avdic got onto the end of a corner to poke in at the far post.
Feyenoord went looking for another equaliser and had some big chances, not least for Bruno Martins Indi and Lex Immers, but PEC Zwolle hung onto their lead to claim all the points.
PEC Zwolle – Feyenoord 3-2
2’ 1-0 Pellè (own goal)
7’ 2-0 Lachman
33’ 2-1 Pellè
34’ 2-2 Pellè
75’ 3-2 Avdic
PEC Zwolle: Boer; Van Polen, Lachman, Broerse, Drost (46’ Narsingh); Klich, Slot (76’ Gravenbeek), Pluim; Achenteh, Avdic, Mokhtar (82’ Valpoort)
Feyenoord: Mulder; Janmaat, De Vrij (84’ Goossens), Mathijsen, Martins Indi; Clasie (46’ Vormer), Immers, Vilhena; Verhoek (59’ Schaken), Pellè, Boëtius