AZ could certainly claim to have earned their three-point haul at De Kuip. The visitors played more freely for virtually the whole game and created the best chances. The fact that Feyenoord stayed in the contest for so long was largely down to Nick Marsman and a huge dollop of resilience. The home keeper kept his side in it with a string of outstanding saves, while further up the field Feyenoord’s never-say-die attitude saw them get back on level terms twice before finally succumbing.
AZ could not have hoped for a better start, as the visitors scored with their first threatening attack. With 10 minutes played an AZ move cut through the centre of the home defence, before the ball ended up at the feet of Jesper Karlsson, who finished coolly. That kick-started the game as both sides came out slugging in a lung-busting back and forth. It wasn’t until half time that the 22 players had the opportunity to grab a breather.
When the dust settled the sides stood level at 1-1, a score that Feyenoord would have been happiest with. The equaliser could have come before Nicolai Jørgensen netted it from a Jens Toornstra assist on 32 minutes, but the biggest opportunities were for the visitors. First Marsman denied Karlsson in an eye-to-eye staredown, then Marcos Senesi looked to have handled in the box only for the officials on the pitch and in the VAR centre to let it go unpunished.
The home coach’s plans set out and drummed in during the break went out the window within two minutes of the restart. Myron Boadu smashed in a belter at the back post to put AZ back in front. But Feyenoord were not prepared to be steamrollered. They worked their way back into the game and got their reward within ten minutes. Mark Diemers showed he got get plenty of power on a shot of his own, finding the corner of the net to level things up just before the hour mark.
Just as Feyenoord cautiously looked to drive home their advantage the side from Alkmaar landed another hard blow. Boadu grabbed his second of the day to edge his side ahead and the hosts were never able to recover. Feyenoord certainly made a fist of it, with Advocaat bringing on Lucas Pratto as an extra striker, but it was not to be.
Ultimately, then, January ended with another disappointing defeat, this time at home after last week’s loss in Amsterdam in the Klassieker. It leaves Feyenoord fifth in the Eredivisie ahead of a trip to sc Heerenveen on Wednesday (kick-off 21:00 CET), followed by another big game at De Kuip next Sunday, this time against PSV.