‘The confidence is back,’ said a satisfied Feyenoord head coach Giovanni van Bronckhorst on Friday afternoon, two days ...
Feyenoord’s winless streak was extended to four matches in Amsterdam Sunday. Ajax dominated proceedings in the Arena, running out 3-0 winners in the end. John Heitinga opened the scoring for the hosts early on, while Klaas Jan Huntelaar added a goal in each half to complete a dismal afternoon for Bert van Marwijk’s side. The defeat sees Feyenoord drop further off the pace at the top of the Eredivisie. Leroy Fer played the entire game due to the unavailability of both Theo Lucius and Danny Buijs through injury.
The game was just 20 seconds in when Ajax created the first nailed-on chance. Kevin Hofland gave the ball away, giving Huntelaar the chance to test Henk Timmer. The Feyenoord keeper saved well, but it would not be the last time that he was called into action.
The Rotterdam defence did not look to be in good shape and it only egged the home side on. There was a clear disparity in quality in favour of Ajax. The two goals made that painfully clear. The writing was on the wall when Heitinga waltzed past two Feyenoord defenders to create enough space to place a powerful drive beyond the reach of Timmer and into the bottom right-hand corner.
The second goal was long in coming, but it was inevitable for all that. The half was into the last minute when Gabri snuck between Tim de Cler and Serginho Greene, crossing for Huntelaar to head in unchallenged.
The home side were being given the freedom of the Arena by Feyenoord, which appeared to be a bit of a miscalculation considering Ajax’s attacking prowess as the leagues second-highest scorers. The game was 17 minutes old when Heitinga headed over. He should have done better with the space granted to him. On 33 minutes Huntelaar was given the time to tailor his cross to Luis Suarez, who had a sudden rush of blood, sweeping the ball over the bar from just a few metres out. Suarez hid in the netting as he contemplated his embarrassment.
Feyenoord got their foot in the door as the first half drew to a close. It resulted in a shot from Denny Landzaat, which flew over. But just as the visitors began to look menacing they were dealt a huge blow by Huntelaar, who nodded in the second goal of the afternoon for Ajax.
The strike knocked the stuffing out of Feyenoord and it would take a long time for the Rotterdammers to get any momentum in the Amsterdam Arena. The home side hogged the ball for long periods, dominating their guests. Kenneth Perez might have made it 3-0, but Timmer blacked his shot. Indeed the Feyenoord keeper was a busy man, who was called into action twice in close succession to defuse the threat as Ajax rampaged through his defence. The final cross was fortunately poor on both occasions.
Ajax should certainly have extended their lead fifteen minutes from time though. Thomas Vermaelen saw his shot brilliantly saved by Timmer. Feyenoord’s best player did it again with five minutes left on the clock. This time it was Huntelaar who was denied by a wonderful reflex save.
The third goal did eventually come however and it was that man Huntelaar who grabbed it. Lindgren lobbed the ball into the box and when Greene missed it, it landed just right for Huntelaar, who volleyed past Timmer to wrap up the points.
Ajax – Feyenoord 3-0
8’ 1-0 Heitinga
45’ 2-0 Huntelaar
90’ 3-0 Huntelaar
Bookings: Hofland, Slory, Landzaat, Lindgren, Luque
Referee: Van Hulten
Ajax: Stekelenburg; Silva, Heitinga, Vermaelen, Vertonghen; Gabri (90’ Colin), Perez, Lindgren; Kennedy (76’ Luque), Huntelaar, Suarez (46’ Rommedahl)
Feyenoord: Timmer; Fer, Greene, Hofland, De Cler; Landzaat, De Guzman, Van Bronckhorst; Hofs, Makaay, Slory (62’ Mols)