The line-ups announced pre-match certainly suggested an exciting encounter. PSV were able to field a full-strength match-day squad for the first time in months, with the rapid Cody Gakpo named in the starting eleven. Feyenoord, meanwhile, kicked off with a three-man backline.
That meant Feyenoord lined up in an unfamiliar configuration and it showed early on as the visitors took time to settle. Eric Botteghin cleared off the line and Nick Marsman denied Donyell Malen with his legs, as Feyenoord scrambled to stay on level terms at the Philips Stadium.
After surviving the hosts’ opening salvo, Feyenoord started to get more of a foothold in the game. Indeed, they even edged ahead through their captain. Berghuis met a low Luis Sinisterra cross with his foot, placing a hard shot in the left-hand corner. The goal changed not only the scoreboard but also the complexion of the game, as Feyenoord suddenly started to create some big opportunities.
The goal came on the quarter-hour and Feyenoord should have added more in short order. Bryan Linssen spurned two clear-cut openings, heading wide and seeing a shot saved by Yvon Mvogo. Sinisterra and Lutsharel Geertruida also missed from close in. That kept PSV in the game and on 38 minutes they grabbed an equaliser.
Mario Götze put through Malen, who stayed calm and composed eye-in-eye with Marsman to net. There was a similar scenario immediately after the break, but fortunately the keeper came out on top second time around, strong-arming the ball away. Later, he also used his foot to deny Noni Madueke.
Tough at the top
Feyenoord lacked the same level of penetration after the break, which meant that the match ended even-stevens. Advocaat for one called it ‘the right result’, albeit one that does not help his side much. Feyenoord remain eight points adrift of second-placed PSV but are now five behind AZ and four short of Vitesse, who both won.
Next up is a home match against FC Emmen at De Kuip on Saturday evening (kick-off 20:00 CET).
- Steven Berghuis
- Nick Marsman