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Points dropped in Groningen

Feyenoord failed to capitalise on results elsewhere and claim top spot in the Eredivisie on Sunday. Leaders Ajax slipped up to AZ, but Arne Slot’s team were held 1-1 at FC Groningen after losing focus for just a moment.

The first half at an empty Euroborg was perhaps not one to write home about. The hosts were happy to sap the energy out of Feyenoord’s game without having any real offensive inspiration themselves. The visitor’s compact defence was scarcely troubled and half time came with little action to note.

Whatever words were exchanged at the break, Feyenoord showed a lot more energy at the start of the second half. They were rewarded for their efforts round the hour mark, when Marcos Senesi netted his first goal of the season. Gernot Trauner looked to have nodded in from a corner, but the Argentinian made sure with a final touch to put his side ahead.

It looked like being enough to take all the spoils, not least because of the recent run of shutouts – Feyenoord had conceded just one goal in six Eredivisie matches. Another factor was FC Groningen’s impotence, with Justin Bijlow rarely called into action. But not for the first time this season, Feyenoord’s opponents made their first serious chance count. Senesi was caught out by a long ball, letting in Jorgen Strand Larsen. The Norwegian was able to storm through, beating Bijlow with a lob to even things up.

Back to square one, Slot brought on super-sub Cyriel Dessers in search of a winner, but the hosts somehow managed to retain their shape and hold on to their point. It left Feyenoord a point off new pacesetters PSV and level on points with Ajax, who they host at De Kuip next Sunday.