Groningen made their intentions clear the moment referee Pieter Vink got the game underway. The visitors’ goal was immediately put under siege. The first minute had not even ticked away before the home side had created – and missed – two enormous opportunities. Erik Nevland spurned both chances. The former Manchester United player saw Timmer save the first. Nevland’s second effort beat the keeper but hit the inside of the post and rebounded back into play.
Feyenoord looked punch drunk after this early flourish from Ron Jans’ side, failing to get a foothold in the game in the opening ten minutes. The Rotterdammers could scarcely believe their fortune then when Makaay gave them the lead on eleven. It was a beautifully executed goal mind. Lucius played Makaay in on the edge of the box and the Dutch international did the rest, taking out two men with a perfect first touch. He finished it off with a controlled drive that found the corner.
The strike put Groningen off their stride somewhat after the early storm. The home side did start to reclaim the initiative as the half wore on however, sculpting a handful of good opportunities. They included long-distance efforts from Lovre and Silva, but a lack of precision denied both.
The same picture repeated itself after the break. Again it was Groningen that held sway in the opening stages, but again it was Makaay who had the best chance. His drive from outside the box was not far off at all.
Groningen responded with a spurt. Feyenoord found themselves on the back foot as the hosts threatened on a number of occasions. Midfielder Silva almost levelled things with a free kick from the flank. Timmer pulled off a fine save, but hurt his knee at the same time. The profuse bleeding suggested it was a bad injury, but the keeper was able to resume between the posts after intensive treatment.
That was no reason at all for Groningen to slow down the game, as the hosts launched wave after wave of attacks. The return on that endeavour came with a quarter of an hour left on the clock. Substitute Marcus Berg was played in with a deep ball. Hofland tried to neutralise the threat but the home striker took a second bite off the cherry, lofting the ball over Timmer from close by.
Things went from bad to worse for Feyenoord three minutes later. After some lacklustre defensive play by Lucius, the ball fell to Nevland. The Norwegian striker just held off Hofland, shooting the ball into the net as he fell.
It looked as though Feyenoord were in disarray, but Van Marwijk’s side got back level within a minute or so. De Cler steamed into the home side’s penalty area. Van Loo parried his hard drive, but Sahin smashed the rebound past the Groningen keeper.
Three goals in five minutes seemed to take its toll on the sides and the match looked like it as heading for a draw. With three minutes of time added on already played though, Berg found himself in space in the box with he ball at his feet. The Swede easily slipped past André Bahia before rattling the ball past Timmer to claim all the points for the hosts.
FC Groningen – Feyenoord 3-2
11’ 0-1 Makaay
73’ 1-1 Berg
76’ 2-1 Nevland
78’ 2-2 Sahin
90’ 3-2 Berg
Bookings: Levchenko, Van de Laak, Sankoh, De Cler
FC Groningen: Van Loo; Svejdik (71’ Berg), Sankoh, Kruiswijk, Stenman; Lindgren, Silva, Levchenko (71’ Fledderus), Van de Laak; Lovre, Nevland
Feyenoord: Timmer; Lucius, Hofland, Bahia, De Cler; Sahin, De Guzman, Van Bronckhorst; Buijs, Makaay, Slory (75’ Wijnaldum)