Feyenoord did a great piece of business at De Kuip Sunday, trouncing Heracles Almelo to claim three precious Eredivisie points. The hosts controlled the game from start to finish, taking an early lead through Roy Makaay, who eventually bagged three strikes. Denny Landzaat and Kelvin Leerdam grabbed the other goals. The win takes Feyenoord to within a point of NEC and FC Utrecht, who share eighth place. The hosts did lose Theo Lucius to an apparent rib injury in the first half. He was replaced by Tim de Cler, who himself returned to attack after a long injury layoff.

Spurred on by the news that the sides immediately above them in the race for the playoffs had drawn and lost respectively, Feyenoord came out all guns blazing. As a result, Heracles failed to push the hosts in the first half. They did get off to the worst possible start, mind. The game was three minutes old when Roy Makaay edged Feyenoord into the lead, after some fine play by Georginio Wijnaldum.

Wijnaldum picked the ball up when keeper Jørg van Nieuwenhuyzen collided with defender Emmanuel Boakye. Wijnaldum whipped the ball back into the centre to Makaay who shaded the ball into the empty net with his head.

The goal left its mark on the rest of the half, in which Feyenoord produced a lot of chances despite a relatively low tempo to the game. The only missing element in Feyenoord’s early forward play was fortune. Leroy Fer was just offside when he put Makaay in on goal a little after ten minutes, while Wijnaldum, Diego Biseswar and Denny Landzaat all went close with long-range efforts. Kelvin Leerdam got in on the act, too, with a fine overhead kick that finished up in the side netting.

Makaay had more luck midway through the second half, grabbing his second and doubling Feyenoord’s lead. Wijnaldum did the spadework again. This time he combined well with Luigi Bruins, before beating a defender at the bye-line and picking out the striker in space, who converted calmly.

The Rotterdammers didn’t look to be in any trouble, as Heracles failed to get near the home goal for most of the first half. Yet the visitors punished immediately the hosts for a lack of concentration. The game was half an hour old when Tim Breukers took advantage of some miserable defending to get a shot in. Henk Timmer saved the effort, but was unable to divert the ball away from Bas Dost, who tapped in Heracles’ reply.

By then Theo Lucius was already off the pitch. The defender was winded by a knee to the torso from Dost and was forced out of the action with suspected bruised ribs a minute after Makaay’s second goal. He was replaced by Tim de Cler, who made his first appearance since the home match against Willem II in January when he suffered a knee injury.

Feyenoord found it tougher to get going after the break. There was a clear desire to protect the lead, bearing in mind last week’s defeat against Volendam from a winning position.

They were not really troubled by the visitors, though, and when the goal did come it fell to the hosts. Makaay chested down to Fer had stormed into the penalty area, but Birger Maertens brought down the youngster before he could get his effort off. The referee pointed to the spot and Makaay stepped up to rattle in his third of the afternoon.

Landzaat put the game to bed five minutes later. The midfielder had moved into defence when Lucius left the field, but he still got his name on the score sheet when he placed a sweet free kick over the wall and into the near corner from 25 metres or so.

The last goal of the afternoon fell to Kelvin Leerdam, his first in the Eredivisie. The defender was set up by Roy Makaay, who picked up the rebound after Fer header, placing the ball into Leerdam’s path for a tap in.

Feyenoord – Heracles Almelo 5-1
3’ 1-0 Makaay
24’ 2-0 Makaay
34’ 2-1 Dost
59’ 3-1 Makaay (pen)
63’ 4-1 Landzaat
68’ 5-1 Leerdam

Referee: Van Sichem

Bookings: Fer, Slory, Looms, De Vries, Van den Bergh

Feyenoord: Timmer; Leerdam, Greene, Lucius (28’ De Cler), Van Bronckhorst; Landzaat, Bruins (56’ Slory), Fer; Wijnaldum, Makaay and Biseswar (75’ Pattinama).
Heracles: Van Nieuwenhuyzen; Boakye, Maertens, Wuytens, Looms; Overtoom (82’ Shayesteh), Van den Bergh (69’ Schulmeister), De Vries (69’ Hakula), Douglas; Dost and Breukers.
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