After a string of appearances in his regular position on the left wing, Bryan Linssen found himself leading the attack again in a 4-3-3 formation, with Steven Berghuis and Luciano Narsingh on the flanks. Dick Advocaat made the change due to the unavailability of Nicolai Jørgensen, who was ruled out with physical complaints. Goals have proven hard to come by in recent months, but Linssen was able to fill his boots.
Though Feyenoord lost to Vitesse on Sunday, Advocaat was happy with how his team played in Arnhem. That form was continued at De Kuip on Wednesday night. The hosts created a whole raft of chances in the first half, with Luciano Narsingh, Steven Berghuis, Mark Diemers, Jens Toornstra and others all spurning opportunities to give Feyenoord the lead
Former Feyenoord keeper Erwin Mulder was the main problem, but the frame of his goal also frustrated the hosts, with Narsingh hitting both bar and post. But Mulder was finally beaten after the break. Within three minutes Linssen had opened the scoring, redirecting a measured Tyrell Malacia cross into the top corner with his head. It was his second Feyenoord goal and his first at De Kuip.
Linssen’s relief was clearly written on his face, but it would only get better as the goals kept on coming. The second was a joint affair with Berghuis, whose cheeky nutmeg helped him create the chance out of nothing. Linssen completed his hattrick in time added on with another header from a corner.
Linssen’s hattrick ensured that Feyenoord ended the year with a win. After 14 Eredivisie rounds, Advocaat’s side have 29 points, five fewer than leaders Ajax and four behind second placed PSV. Next up for Feyenoord after a short winter break is an away fixture at Sparta Rotterdam on Sunday 10 January.