The start was pregnant with promise and the sell-out crowd did not have to wait long at all for the first big chance. Gomes was beaten by Stein Huysegems’ cross, but the incoming Joonas Kolkka lacked those extra few centimetres that would have allowed him to direct the ball into the net.
PSV took full control after five minutes. The pressure on the Rotterdammers was so intense that the home side simply couldn’t hold onto the ball. That said, the league leaders were unable to fashion any real nailed-on chances and only Arouna Koné actually managed to get a shot off on target.
The goal did come on 24 minutes, but it was not a consequence of PSV’s class but of Timmer’s misjudgement. Cocu decided to let fly from distance and the shot appeared to lack the power or direction to trouble the Feyenoord keeper, but Timmer totally miscalculated and the ball slipped past him into the net.
The champions were clearly a cut above their hosts and Ronald Koeman’s almost went further ahead on the half hour. Koné beat Buijs fairly easily before rifling in a shot that whisked wide.
With just one goal’s deficit Feyenoord had plenty of time to put things right and get back into the game, but the visitors’ supremacy was such that that particular scenario did not look likely. Yet it was exactly what happened.
Feyenoord have managed to fight their way back into games throughout this season when things have looked close to hopeless and they repeated the trick against the champions. This time it was Charisteas who rose majestically to nod home Royston Drenthe’s centre from a free kick to level things seven minutes before the break.
It was an unexpected strike for more than one reason. Not only was it completely against the run of play; it was also the first goal conceded by PSV keeper Gomes for eleven league matches.
The leveller brought the best out of Erwin Koeman’s side. The Rotterdammers started to knock the ball about and even threatened Gomes again just after half time. First De Guzman tried one from a free kick, then Charisteas thumped in an effort that fell the wrong side of the post.
The match had swung very clearly in Feyenoord’s favour and it would not have been unjustified had the home side taken the lead. They went close on 64 minutes, when Huysegems rattled in a cross that took a deflection and almost caught out Gomes. The Brazil did well to keep the ball out.
Feyenoord drove on in search of the winner, but there was a lack of composure in the final third. That was a pity as there was only going to be one winner as Feyenoord totally dominated PSV. While that is certainly something that the home side can take from the game, formally speaking the spoils were shared as the encounter ended all square.
Feyenoord – PSV 1-1
24’ Cocu 0-1
38’ Charisteas 1-1
Bookings: Lucius, Afellay
Feyenoord: Timmer; Buijs, Vlaar, Bahia, Drenthe (90’ Derijck); Lucius, Hofs, De Guzman; Kolkka (81’ Vincken), Charisteas, Huysegems
PSV: Gomes; Kromkamp, Salcido, Alex, Reiziger; Afellay (82’ Tardelli), Culina, Simons, Cocu; Koné, Farfan (71’ Kluivert)