Feyenoord made up three points on second-placed Ajax with a fine 4-1 victory over FC Groningen in the Kuip Sunday. After a slow start, three goals in eight minutes, with a double for Van Hooijdonk and a header from Emerton, set the Rotterdammers on the road to victory. Thomas Buffel wrapped up the points in the second period to keep Feyenoord on course for automatic Champions League qualification.

The first thirty were none too enthralling. Apart from a great chance spurned by Emerton in the first minute of the game Feyenoord were unable to threaten the Groningen goal. The home side gave up possession too easily and looked unimaginative in their buildup play. Clearly Van Marwijk’s side were missing Kees van Wonderen. Patrick Paauwe looked shaky at leftback, while further up the field Feyenoord looked less sharp than of old, so it appeared that the Legion had little to look forward to. Until, that is, Van Hooijdonk broke the deadlock just past the half-hour mark. Van Persie looked like he’d take a freekick on the edge of the box, but it was ultimately Ono who chipped the ball into the danger zone, where the Big Man was waiting to nod in the opener. The goal was the impetus that Feyenoord needed and the lead was doubled within five minutes. This time it was a Kalou cross, but Van Hooijdonk was again the man to claim the goal. Symmetrically, it was five minutes after that that Emerton firmed in a header that beat everyone to extend the lead to three before the break. The comfortable lead looked ripe for enlargement in the second half, but Feyenoord started act two with a tad too much nonchalance, although the fourth goal did come ten minutes in, when Kalou went a-dribbling and Buffel finished things off in the proper fashion. The home side would have been looking for more goals and Van Hooijdonk went close a couple of times, but ultimately no closer than a post. Substitutes Pardo, Acuna and Lurling weren’t able to find the breakthrough either and it was in fact the visitors who had the last word, as Van Gessel netted on 82. Feyenoord 4-1 FC Groningen (3-0) 31’ 1-0 Van Hooijdonk 35’ 2-0 Van Hooijdonk 39’ 3-0 Emerton 55’ 4-0 Buffel 82’ 4-1 Van Gessel Feyenoord: Lodewijks: Emerton, Gyan, De Nooijer, Paauwe; Kalou, Bosvelt, Ono (73’ Acuña), Buffel (77’ Lurling); Van Persie (64’ Pardo), Van Hooijdonk. FC Groningen: Ten Rouwelaar; Elshot, Schoenmakers (46’ Drent), Boekweg, Floren; Ikedia (80’ Landerl), Matthijs, Van Gessel, Tuhuteru; Bronkhorst, Salmon (64’Johansson). Referee: Luijten Yellow: Schoenmakers
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