The Dutch national side carved open Scotland on the wings in midweek’s 6-0 drubbing and Van Marwijk was looking for a similar performance from his own side. ‘I hope my wingers were watching the match carefully.’
Van Marwijk was shown that they clearly had within a few minutes of kick off. Lurling on the right and Van Persie on the left evidently wanted to emulate their international colleagues. As did the whole team it seemed, as Feyenoord accelerated out of the starting blocks, leaving Vitesse for speed.
Three minutes in and the home side had already had two good opportunities. The first fell to Kuyt, who headed Buffel’s cross towards goal, only to see Van Fessem stretch and strain to keep it out. Then it was Buffel’s turn to beat his man and steer in a shot that went just over.
That set the tone for the match, as Feyenoord dominated almost the whole first half. And the home side even managed to secure a relatively early goal to relax them even more.
Van Persie it was who claimed the opener, chasing down a long Paauwe pass, controlling it beautifully in a single motion to find the net in the 21st minute.
Chances came frequently for Feyenoord after that. Buffel especially might have doubled the lead on more than one occasion, but the Belgian clearly didn’t have his finishing boots on.
Fortunately, Buffel wasn’t the only player to work himself into goal-striking positions. Indeed, it was a defender – Paauwe – who grabbed the second goal a few minutes before the break, heading in a perfect cross by Ono.
In the second half Vitesse finally give Feyenoord something to do at the back, but the home side picked up momentum, with the help of their wings. Lurling made his mark on the right, while Van Persie on the left did some fine things from time to time, not least on 57 minutes, when he almost wrapped up a great move with a goal, but his chick ended up hitting the bar.
The home side were on song, with at least satisfactory performances from each and every player, although someone like Ono has so much more to give. Not surprisingly, the Japanese looked a little out of sorts, after a knee injury and a round trip to Japan in the week, including a full ninety minutes for his national team.
But Feyenoord thankfully didn’t have to rely on the Asian Footballer of the Year too much, netting a third ten minutes before time to cap a strolling second half performance.
And things got even easier when Rankovic was sent off before the end for felling Buffel when the players squared up.
Feyenoord-Vitesse 3-0 (2-0)
21’ 1-0 Van Persie
43’ 2-0 Paauwe
80’ 3-0 Kuyt
Feyenoord: Lodewijks; Swerts, Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Snoyl; Lurling, Schreuder, Ono (86, Song), Van Persie (83, Pardo); Buffel, Kuyt (88, Lazovic).
Vitesse: Van Fessem; Cornelisse, Konterman, Jansen, Frankel; Rankovic, Schaars (46, Zongo), Claessens (72, Hofs), Martel; Rojer (83, Bochum), Mbamba.
Referee: Van Hulten