Feyenoord found Real Madrid just too strong Friday night as the champions of Europe swept to a 3-1 victory on an appalling surface in Monaco. Madrid started like a team determined to bag their first trophy of the season, and although the Rotterdammers gave a good account of themselves in the second half, Real were simply different class. It was a great occasion for the Feyenoord legion however, who gave their team full-hearted support throughout.

Feyenoord were facing a forward line of formidable force in Monaco, but none of them was responsible for the opener. That dubious honour went to Patrick Paauwe, who was unable to do anything but stab the ball in to his own net after a Carlos cross found him facing his own goal to put Real one up after a quarter of an hour. Feyenoord were swamped in the first half hour. Real doubled their lead on 21 minutes with a goal to grace any final. Zidane started things off, before Roberto Carlos played a one-two with Guti that took him into the box and created the room he needed to curl the ball past Zoetebier. Things looked like they could get worse, as the UEFA Cup winners struggled to string their passes together. Thankfully Feyenoord could rely on the support of five thousand travelling fans to keep their spirits up in a very difficult phase of the game. The first sign of recovery came in the 38th minute. Lurling wormed his way through the Madrid defence to charge in to the penalty area, but his shot was always going wide. Then came a shot from distance that Bosvelt drove over the bar. Any worries that Real would rest some of their stars in the second half proved unwarranted. The teams returned unchanged in terms of personnel, but Feyenoord’s attitude was certainly different. The Rotterdammers had decided to make a game of it, no doubt urged on by coach Bert van Marwijk, and within minutes Lurling had forced a save out of Casillas. Bosvelt was next to threaten, lobbing his effort just over the bar under pressure. Indeed referee Dallas decided that pressure was more than the rules allowed, awarding Feyenoord a freekick in a promising position. Paauwe lined up to shoot, but stepped over the ball and Van Hooijdonk it was who let fly with his trademark deadball trick that beat Casillas for pace and crept into the top lefthand corner to halve Real’s lead. The goal breathed new life into the Dutch side and Ono went close to levelling, but inevitably Real stepped up a gear to reclaim their two-goal cushion within five minutes. Figo crossed from the right, Zoetebier was caught in two minds and flapped and Guti headed into the empty net to make it 3-1. Bert van Marwijk responded by introducing Thomas Buffel for Gyan but Real are not the best side in the world because they throw away two goal leads and the Madrid side ran out comfortable winners all said and done. Real Madrid 3-1 Feyenoord 15’ 1-0 Paauwe (og) 21’ 2-0 Carlos 55’ 2-1 Van Hooijdonk 59’ 3-1 Guti Real Madrid: Casillas; Michel Salgado, Hierro, Helguera, Roberto Carlos; Figo, Cambiasso (86’ Pavon), Zidane (85’ Morientes), Makelele; Raúl, Guti (70’ Portillo). Feyenoord: Zoetebier; Gyan (70’ Buffel)Van Wonderen, Paauwe, Rzasa; Emerton, Bosvelt, Ono, Lurling; Kalou, Van Hooijdonk. Referee: Dallas (Scotland)

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