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Feyenoord keep pressure up with victory in Sittard

Feyenoord added another three points to their Eredivisie haul on Sunday with a 3-1 win at Fortuna Sittard. Arne Slot’s side capitalised on FC Twente’s draw at Heracles to open up a five-point gap in third with three matches remaining.  All told, it was the ideal preparation for Thursday’s Europa Conference League semi-final second leg.
The big question ahead of the match was whether coach Slot would rest certain players for Thursday’s encounter in Marseille. ‘That was indeed something I thought about,’ said Slot after the final whistle. ‘So before kick-off we had already decided that Orkun and Luis would not play more than an hour. But otherwise we deliberately chose to go with the tried-and-tested eleven, because this was simply a very important match.’
 
It was clear from the opening joists that the Feyenoord players were also well aware of that. The visitors looked sharp from the off, quickly taking full control of the match. That dominance brought rich rewards in the form of two goals early on. Lutsharel Geertruida claimed both of them: the first with his head from a corner; the second with his left foot from a Reiss Nelson cross after some fine preparatory work from the Englishman.
 
Feyenoord could have – perhaps should have – celebrated more than just the two goals. Chances came thick and fast for the visitors, but their finishing let them down. Orkun Kökcü even missed from the penalty spot after Tyrell Malacia was hauled down in the box, with keeper Yannick van Osch just managing to deflect it onto the post with his fingertips.
 
Reiss Nelson netted a third early in the second half, allowing Slot to make a raft of changes. The hosts managed to pull a goal back through Zian Flemming and as they pushed forward looking for more, Feyenoord might have begun wondering whether their first-half profligacy would come back to bite them.
 
The hosts were unable to add to their tally however and Feyenoord ended up tightening their grip on third due to favourable results elsewhere.
 
The focus now switches to the semi-final second leg against Olympique Marseille at Stade Vélodrome, where Arne Slot’s team will defend a 3-2 lead in the quest for a place in the final of the Europa Conference League.
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