With a number of players missing, not least Steven Berghuis, Orkun Kökcü and João Teixeira, Dick Advocaat was forced to shuffle his pack for the trip to the Gelredome. The head coach settled on a 5-3-2, which mirrored the hosts’ starting formation. Advocaat shared his thoughts on this before kick-off: ‘Then everyone’s matched up and it’s man against man. Let’s see who’s better.’
It produced an interesting game, with Feyenoord looking well organised and ready to battle for every inch. Chances were few and far between, but Feyenoord did threaten on at least three occasions. Eric Botteghin’s header was saved, Mark Diemers saw his shot whizz just past the wrong side of the post, while Bryan Linssen was unable to get any power behind his shot.
The picture was similar at the other end, with Vitesse creating a few openings, but they had more success in the finishing. A Feyenoord free kick broke down, with Riechedly Bazoer launching a counter with a deep ball. It fell to Loïs Openda, who raced past Marcos Senesi and played it into Oussama Darfalou. The Algerian striker completed the move by sweeping the ball into the net.
Strong second half
Feyenoord returned after the break fired up to protect their unbeaten record in the Eredivisie, preferably by scoring twice to take all three points. Advocaat went for an attacking approach, bringing on Luis Sinisterra and Luciano Narsingh for Leroy Fer and Bart Nieuwkoop. The offensive mindset led to huge chances for Linssen and Jørgensen.
Against his old club, Linssen headed an effort against the feet of the home keeper and then pulled a shot wide from close in. Jørgensen also spurned a great opportunity, failing to find the net when a rebound fell to him in the box. Uros Spajic went close too, first hitting the top of the bar with a long-distance drive deed, then shooting just over on the turn from a corner.
Exciting end game
The biggest chances in the final stages fell to Botteghin and Sinisterra. In the first minute of injury time the Brazilian should have redirected Tyrell Malacia’s hard cross into the net, but the ball blazed over. Sinisterra did get a header on target, but Pasveer pushed the ball onto the bar. In the end, the final whistle came without any further scoring.
Feyenoord play their final fixture of 2020 on Wednesday, a home match against sc Heerenveen at De Kuip in the Eredivisie, kick-off 21:00 CET.