The home side will still be wondering what hit them in a dazzling firsthalf display from Feyenoord. The fun started on four minutes when Robin van Persie bent in a freekick from twenty metres out that sneaked in the top corner.
Feyenoord doubled the lead on twelve when Emerton found Pierre van Hooijdonk with an inch-perfect pass that Big Pete planted past keeper Moens with his head. Minutes later Van Hooijdonk miss-hit a freekick that limped into the path of Bonaveture Kalou and the Ivorian tapped in to make it three.
By this time things were looking grim for AZ and it got even grimmer sooner thereafter when Emerton again found Van Hooijdonk with a fine cross. The Feyenoord goalmachine got his cranium to the ball but Moens foiled the attempt only for the striker to follow up to smash home number four.
Many a silver cloud has a dark lining unfortunately and for Feyenoord that was the injury picked up by Shinji Ono, which forced the Japanese to leave the pitch. His place was taken by Jorge Acuña, who immediately made his intentions known with a succession of crunching tackles. The swap didn’t seem to inhibit the Rotterdammers and the score might have been even bigger at the break had Buffel converted when clear in front of goal, but the Belgian couldn’t find a way past keeper Moens. The AZ goalie then had a spot of luck with the next incoming missile, as a Van Hooijdonk freekick ricocheted off the bar and out to safety.
In the second half Feyenoord played the ball around minute after minute, which was answered with the cynical cries of the home crowd and a cynical foul by Jose Fortes Rodriguez, who floored Van Persie and was handed a yellow card for his troubles. The sanction seemed to have little effect however as the game descended into a kicking match.
AZ did pull a goal back with six minutes to spare but by that time the visitors were already showered and changed and back in the team bus for the journey home, in spirit at least.
AZ 1-4 Feyenoord (0-4)
4” Van Persie 0-1
12” Van Hooijdonk 0-2
18” Kalou 0-3
30” Van Hooijdonk 0-4
84” Kromkamp 1-4
Moens; Lamey, Wijker, Volmer, De Cler; Kromkamp, Fortes Rodriguez, Mans, Opdam, Lindenbergh; Nelisse.
Lodewijks; Emerton, Van Wonderen (59” Gyan), De Nooijer, Paauwe; Kalou, Ono (35” Acuña), Bosvelt, Buffel; Van Persie (76” Pardo) en Van Hooijdonk.
Yellow card: Fortes Rodriguez