The opening encounter of 2021 was always going to be a tough one for the visitors. The Rotterdam derby at Sparta is often a hard-fought fixture. The 2021 edition proved to be no exception, as the game hung in the balance until the final seconds.
The hosts failed to put Feyenoord under much pressure in the first half though. The visitors were able to get their passing game up and running on the artificial surface, creating a clutch of chances, while Sparta found the going harder. So when the opener came for the visitors it was certainly not against the run of play. Lutsharel Geertruida it was who netted on 22 minutes.
A corner was partially cleared, but when the ball was pumped back into the box, Marcos Senesi nodded it on to the right back, who headed it in from a few yards out. The goal was initially ruled out for offside, but replays proved the opposite and Feyenoord had the lead. It was Geertruida’s fourth Eredivisie goal of the campaign.
Pratto debuts, Haps returns
A second Feyenoord goal looked on the cards but failed to materialise. The biggest chance fell to debutant Lucas Pratto (who hit a post and then messed up a shot) and Luis Sinisterra (who chipped over). Ridgeciano Haps, who came on to seal his return after two and a half months out injured, replacing Sinisterra, threatened too, but the ball would just not go in.
It meant that Sparta Rotterdam stayed in the game until the bitter end and even menaced the Feyenoord goal as the clock ticked down. The visitors needed to show plenty of resolve to defend their lead before substitute Nicolai Jørgensen wrapped up the win deep into time added on. The Dane’s shot sneaked in at the near post to make it 2-0.
The victory leaves Feyenoord in third place in the Eredivisie on 32 points from 15 matches. That’s just two points behind leaders Ajax, whose game against second place PSV, a point better off than Advocaat’s side, was the weekend’s late fixture. Vitesse are fourth, also on 32 points, with AZ one place and four points down.
- Nicolai Jørgensen