Feyenoord saw off the challenge of VVV at De Kuip Saturday night, recording a 4-1 win. It was a confidence-boosting victory for the Rotterdammers three days before their cup semi-final against NAC. Man of the evening was veteran striker Michael Mols, who scored one and made another. Luigi Bruins, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Nuri Sahin also got their names on the score sheet, as did Honda for the guests.

The loss of Roy Makaay had left Feyenoord looking short in the strikers’ department, but the efficiency with which Bert van Marwijk’s saw off VVV was reassuring. The Rotterdammers did not create many chances, but still managed to stick three of them away in the first half.

Luigi Bruins got proceedings off to a great start after just four minutes. The youngster controlled a deep pass from Denny Landzaat with a great touch before catching keeper Kevin Begois out with a beautiful lob to put his side ahead.

VVV were not knocked off balance by the early disappointment however. The Venlo-based side showed their attacking ambitions and their resolve paid off with a quick equaliser. Honda bent a free kick over the wall and this time it was Timmer who was forced to watch the ball fly past him and in.

Feyenoord were the better team though and they might have edged ahead again on the half-hour. Sadly, Jonathan de Guzman had to readjust his gait to latch onto a deflected cross, which caused him to blaze over with the goal gaping.

The miss did have any serious consequences, fortunately. Not soon after Van Bronckhorst lined up a free kick. Rachid Ofrany handled the first attempt, but the club captain caught the second just right. The ball skidded under the wall and in; Feyenoord led 2-1.

The hosts kicked on looking to deal the visitors the hammer blow before the break. And home zeal was rewarded when Mols nodded on Kevin Hofland’s original header for the third goal. The VVV defence tried to clear the ball, but referee Haverkort signalled that it had already crossed the line.

Mols also played a key role in the fourth goal. He wasn’t the finisher in this case, but he was the provider. Bruins played the initial ball in and Mols back-heeled it into the path of Sahin. The Turk steered his shot into the far corner to seal the points with a good half-hour still on the clock.

Most of it would be played out without Mols, as Bert van Marwijk decided to bring the experienced forward off on 68 minutes. The Feyenoord coach no doubt had an eye on Tuesday’s cup semi against NAC. Mols was given a standing ovation as he made way for Fer.

When Van Marwijk substituted Van Bronckhorst a quarter of an hour later the skipper got a similar send-off. The two substitutions were the crowd’s only opportunities to really let rip in the last quarter of the match. The action on the pitch was fairly low-key, aside from a free kick from De Guzman, which was saved by Begois. Given the handsome scoreline however, no one in the stadium was complaining.

Feyenoord – VVV Venlo 4-1
4’ Bruins 1-0
12’ Honda 1-1
33’ Van Bronckhorst 2-1
43’ Mols 3-1
57’ Sahin 4-1

Bookings: Ofrany, Blondelle
Referee: Haverkort

Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Greene, Hofland, Bahia; Landzaat, Van Bronckhorst (83’ Wijnaldum), Sahin; De Guzman, Mols (68’ Fer), Bruins (73’ Buijs).
VVV: Begois; Mampuya, Kahya, Verdellen (60’ Blondelle), Fleuren; Leemans, Linssen (63’ El Gaaouiri), Oost, Honda; Soltani, Ofrany (66’ Timisela).
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