Feyenoord started enthusiastically, in the knowledge that only a win would realistically keep alive hopes of a Europa League playoff berth. The hosts immediately put pressure on the reigning Eredivisie champions.
Feyenoord’s passing game was a little lacking in imagination, however, and PSV were not overly troubled in the opening stages. Keeper Andreas Isaksson was called into action on two occasions as Jon Dahl Tomasson and Diego Biseswar gave cause for concern in the visitors’ defence. Georginio Wijnaldum also threatened with a shot from just outside the box that flew over.
Feyenoord were unable to build on that early promise, though, and PSV got back into the game as the tempo dropped. In response the crowd would have been excused for dropping off for forty winks.
The visitors had the best opportunities of the half. Edison Méndez went closest on ten minutes when Danko Lazovic managed to thread the ball through to him, but the Ecuadorian was unable to finish appropriately. The game was closer to twenty minutes old when the next opening came. This time Ibrahim Afellay tried his luck from distance, but Henk Timmer saved well.
Feyenoord were essentially restricted to free kicks before the break. Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Roy Makaay both drove efforts wide from around twenty metres out.
The second half was much slower to get going than the first. Much of that was down to the three enforced changes to the Feyenoord eleven in quick succession. Timmer, Hofland and Tomasson were all taken off with injuries. Rob van Dijk, Kelvin Leerdam and Andwélé Slory took their places.
PSV were just as subdued as their hosts, which meant the game was an hour old before anything further of note happened. When it did come there was a major role for PSV substitute Otman Bakkal, who was put in on goal only to see his effort blocked by Van Dijk’s feet.
Van Dijk saved his team ten minutes later, too. This time Lazovic was foiled when the home keeper plucked the ball from his feet. A minute earlier Lazovic should really have given his side the lead, but the Serb side-footed his effort wide from five metres out. It was a phase in which Feyenoord themselves were finding it hard to trouble the home defence. The only potential threat came from Biseswar, whose long-distance drive was meat and drink for Isaksson.
But it was the hosts that got the breakthrough on 72 minutes. Slory earned a corner on the right and Leroy Fer raced into the box unmarked to head Biseswar’s outswinger into the goal.
With the win within their grasp Feyenoord were content to play out the remainder of the game, but both sides were sloppy in the final stages and there was little in the way of a threat from either. Feyenoord – PSV 1-0
72’ 1-0 Fer Referee:
Van Bronckhorst, Lazovic, Wijnaldum Feyenoord:
Timmer (46’ Van Dijk); Lucius, Bahia, Hofland (46’ Leerdam), Van Bronckhorst; El Ahmadi, Tomasson (54’ Slory), Fer; Wijnaldum, Makaay and Biseswar. PSV:
Isaksson; Culina, Marcellis, Bréchet, Salcido; Simons, Afellay, Méndez (78’ Koevermans); Lazovic, Toivonen (60’ Bakkal) and Dzsudzsak.