PSV went into the tie slight favourites among the pundits, but on the pitch it was Feyenoord who deserved the most praise. 'I think we’ve done very well here', Bonaventure Kalou declared. And Dahl Tomasson was even more forthright: 'It’s a pity we didn’t take our chances, or we would have won.' Bert van Marwijk thought that Feyenoord 'not only could have got a lot more', but 'we also deserved more. We just couldn’t manage to make the difference. That’s because we were not careful enough with our final pass. But we were the team that dominated.'
The secret of the Rotterdam ascendancy was the tactical battle in the middle of the park, where Shinji Ono and Paul Bosvelt were able to keep Mark van Bommel and Theo Lucius under wraps for most of the game. Something PSV coach Erik Gerets noticed too. 'They constantly pressed forward and paralysed our engine room. It’s true you’re not happy with the result, but Feyenoord did deserve it. They were better than us today.'
The 1-1 outcome means that the visitors will be under pressure next week in the Kuip. The Eindhoven outfit have to score an away goal, after all, a fact only too clear to Gerets. “We have to score, otherwise we’re out.” Feyenoord however, will do well to remember the last round when Rangers pulled back their away goal within 25 minutes in the Kuip. Realistically, Feyenoord have to score too next Thursday, if only to calm nerves on the terraces and on the pitch. Something Van Marwijk knows already. 'We just have to create out own chances in the Kuip, just like we did against Rangers.' Tomasson agrees: 'We should be able to finish them off in a packed Kuip. If that fantastic crowd get behind you…then we’ll be on our way to the semi-final.'
Much has been made of the yellow card picked up by Kevin Hofland in the Philips Stadium. It means that the PSV defender misses the return. 'That may be so', Jon Dahl Tomasson said with a wink, 'but when he plays like he did tonight I’d always want him in the team.'