A day before the game, Leon Vlemmings had been asked for his thoughts on how to stop Kenneth Perez. Leroy Fer would normally have been expected to man-mark Twente’s attacking midfielder, but the youngster was suspended.
Seemingly sensing that Feyenoord were unsure what to do with him Perez put in a good shift in the first half as the most dangerous player on the pitch for the visitors. That was not so much down to his positional play or quick thinking, as the threat he posed when the ball went dead.
The Dane took virtually every corner and free kick awarded to his side and many of them put the wind up Feyenoord. After almost half an hour, for instance, Henk Timmer had a Perez corner headed almost off his gloves and had to react quickly to clear up the threat. Timmer had been warned: less than ten minutes earlier Perez had rattled the bar with a free kick.
It had been given in response to a foul on Eljero Elia, which earned Kelvin Leerdam a yellow card. The young defender was finding it hard to cope with the pace of Elia, who forced a save out of Timmer as early as the third minute.
Elia went close again with five minutes of the first half remaining. He raced towards the home goal with Dwight Tiendalli in close attendance. Elia managed to get a shot in, but the block came from Tiendalli, on for the injured Andwelé Slory, who was taken off on the half hour.
By that time, Blaise Nkufo has already sniffed at the biggest chance of the game, heading over despite having the time and space to choose his spot.
Feyenoord, on the other hand, were unable to really trouble the visitors. Roy Makaay did rifle off a shot in the opening stages, after getting the ball from Slory, while Tomasson failed to get any power into a drive of his own from just under 20 metres out just before half time.
The hosts didn’t really trouble their high-flying guests until ten minutes into the second half. Giovanni van Bronckhorst took advantage of a failed offside trap to feed Tomasson in front of goal, but the Dane was unable to get a shot off due to the attentions of a defender. Three minutes before, André Bahia had seen his headed effort saved on the line by keeper Sander Boschker.
The game entered an exciting phase in which Feyenoord gradually started to assert their authority. A couple of curious decisions by the referee whipped up emotions on the pitch, leading to a pack of yellow cards.
Twente’s Douglas picked up one of them when he up-ended Diego Biseswar in the box. The referee pointed to the spot and sent Douglas to the dressing room as the defender was already on a booking. When things calmed down a bit, Makaay stepped up to net the penalty, sending Boschker the wrong way.
The visitors went all out for the equaliser, but Cheikh Tiote was unable to keep his control under pressure, earned his team’s second red card of the evening. In injury time Van Bronckhorst also picked up his second booking of the match, and Feyenoord were forced to battle through the final stages with ten men.
Feyenoord – FC Twente 1-0
76’ Makaay (pen)
Bookings: Leerdam, Tomasson, Perez, Brama
Sendings off: Douglas (2x bookings), Tiote (2x bookings), Van Bronckhorst (2x bookings)
Feyenoord: Timmer; Leerdam, Landzaat, Bahia, De Cler; Wijnaldum, Tomasson, Van Bronckhorst; Slory (35’ Tiendalli), Makaay and Biseswar (89’ Pattinama).
FC Twente: Boschker; Douglas, Rajkovic, Wisgerhof, Braafheid; Tiote, Perez, Brama (81’ Janssen); Arnoutovic (69’ Denneboom), Nkufo and Elia.