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Feyenoord fail to cap good performance with goal

Feyenoord had the upper hand for much of Sunday’s Klassieker at the Johan Cruijff Arena, but ended up coming up short. Dick Advocaat’s side were unable to find the net despite plenty of chances, as Ajax edged it 1-0.

The stats were certainly not in Feyenoord’s favour ahead of the top-of-the-table clash in Amsterdam. The visitors had last claimed all three Eredivisie points there in 2005. And perhaps that record had played on Feyenoord’s minds, as they looked tense and guarded in the early stages of the encounter. The hosts took full advantage.

Early setback
Ajax moved the ball around, probing the Feyenoord defence for weaknesses. The ball was fed to Ryan Gravenberch, who made some space for himself outside the box and beat keeper Nick Marsman with a hard shot into the left-hand corner to give the hosts the lead.

For while it looked like Ajax might cut loose, but Feyenoord managed to settle the ship and get more of a grip on the game. Before the break that led only to a few half-chances for Jens Toornstra (side-netting) and Ridgeciano Haps (blocked by André Onana). But in the second half Feyenoord started to flex their muscles. The visitors looked much more solid in defence, with the Ajax attackers kept on a tight rein, and began to look increasingly dangerous going forward. An equaliser was a distinct possibility.

Leveller disallowed
Nicolai Jørgensen did get the ball into the net after a fine move, but Feyenoord were denied by the video referee. The Danish striker – who responded to a place in the starting eleven with a strong performance – beat Ajax keeper Onana off a Toornstra assist, but referee Danny Makkelie ruled it out for offside after a VAR check.

Undeterred, Feyenoord continued to press and Steven Berghuis had two good chances to grab an equaliser. The captain pulled the trigger with his left peg on both occasions but was unable to find the target either time. In the final minutes Leroy Fer saw an effort land in Onana’s hands, then substitute Luis Sinisterra hit the bar with a looping header; it was clearly not to be Feyenoord’s day.

Fourth place
The loss leaves Feyenoord in fourth place in the table, six points behind Ajax. Vitesse are second three ahead of Dick Advocaat’s side and one ahead of third place PSV.