Asked whether he could be congratulated after Saturday’s 2-1 win against AZ, Giovanni van Bronckhorst said that he would ...
Feyenoord were unable to gain any revenge for their home defeat to Ajax earlier in the season when the sides locked horns again in Amsterdam Sunday. The hosts proved too strong for the Rotterdammers again, winning 4-1. Erwin Koeman saw his side slip three behind in the first half to a brace by Wesley Sneijder and one from Tom De Mul before Angelos Charisteas got one back before the break. But Sneijder grabbed his third after the turnaround to condemn Feyenoord to defeat in a match that saw the return to first-team action of Romeo Castelen for the first time this season.
Feyenoord started well in Amsterdam, dictating the early stages. The Rotterdammers should have really opened the scoring early on when Charisteas was set up in front of the Ajax goal by De Guzman. The Greek’s shot was brushed onto the post by keeper Maarten Stekelenburg however. Thomas Vermaelen knocked the ball out for a corner, which produced a headed opportunity for Vlaar, but his nod missed the target.
Ajax took over the initiative and displayed a lot more efficiency in front of the goal. Urby Emanuelson and Sneijder both had shots that failed to pierce the Rotterdam defence, but when Sneijder got himself a free kick on 20 minutes the Ajax midfielder beat Timmer with his effort to give his side the lead.
It was a big blow for the Maassiders and Ajax took advantage to try and take full control of the match. Edgar Davids and Leonardo both tested Timmer, to which the visitors’ goalie reacted well but he did not have a chance on 32 minutes when Babel crossed to Sneijder, who nodded in the second.
Things were looking dodgy for Erwin Koeman’s team and when Serginho Greene was easily beaten by Ryan Babel two minutes later the alarm bells starting ringing again. Babel passed to De Mul who beat Vlaar to make it 3-0. It was a bitter experience for Greene, who was also shown yellow for his original challenge on Babel leading up to the goal.
Tim Vincken and Charisteas gave the visitors a little bit of hope before the break though. Vincken broke down the right and sent in a fine cross that Charisteas met well to shoot Feyenoord back into the game.
The first serious opportunity of the second half took 24 minutes to arrive. When it did De Mul powered through the Feyenoord defence but was unable to get enough on his shot. A fourth goal would not have been deserved however, as Feyenoord were as good as their hosts after the break.
Charisteas gave Stekelenburg no chance with a shot from distance on 72 minutes, but the Greek was unlucky as the effort crashed against the post again.
Koeman decided he needed to try and change the face of the game, bringing off Greene and replacing him with Castelen, who thus got his season underway somewhat belatedly after months of injury torment. Feyenoord did show more offensive leanings with Castelen back in the side, but the Rotterdammers were unable to make the breakthrough. The goal did come, but it went to Ajax. Kenneth Perez it was who had the original shot, but the ball took a ricochet to land at the feet of Sneijder, who knocked in his third of the afternoon to make it 4-1 with four minutes left.
Ajax – Feyenoord 4-1
20’ Sneijder 1-0
32’ Sneijder 2-0
34’ De Mul 3-0
42’ Charisteas 3-1
86’ Sneijder 4-1
Bookings: Greene, Emanuelson, Davids
Refeere: Van Egmond
Feyenoord: Timmer; Greene (72’ Castelen), Vlaar, Lucius, Bahia; Buijs, Schreuder (46’ Derijck), De Guzman; Vincken, Charisteas, Huysegems (77’ Van Hooijdonk)
Ajax: Stekelenburg; Ogararu, Heitinga, Vermaelen, Emanuelson (61’ Lindenbergh); Gabri, Sneijder, Davids; De Mul (86’ Rosales), Babel, Leonardo (74’ Perez)