Feyenoord crushes Shachtar (7-1) in Europa League and is ready for Ajax
A great Feyenoord has qualified for the quarter-finals of the Europa League with remarkable ease. The extremely poor Shachtar Donetsk were beaten no less than 7-1 at De Kuip. The Rotterdammers can now fully focus on next Sunday’s Premier League classic against Ajax.
The draw for the quarter-finals of the Europa League is Friday at 1 p.m.
Shachtar, currently frontrunners in the Ukrainian league, finished third in a group with Real Madrid, RB Leipzig and Celtic in the Champions League earlier this season and then forced a duel with Feyenoord at the expense of Stade Rennais.
Coach Arne Slot’s formation proved unimpressed, already largely showing the proportions in Warsaw last week. Sjachtar were fortunate to take the lead in the closing stages, but the 1-1 goal from Argentine substitute Ezequiel Bullaude was more than deserved.
At De Kuip, not quite filled due to a UEFA penalty, Feyenoord continued that line, with the understanding that the chances were now mostly appreciated. Slot was unable to call on the sick Quilindschy Hartman and gave Gernot Trauner a starting place in a long time.
The Austrian had a share in Santiago Gimenez’s 1-0. After ball loss by Dmytro Kryskiv, Trauner served Alireza Jahanbakhsh, who in turn reached Gimenez. The Mexican striker interposed Artem Bondarenko and Valeriy Bondar and shot impeccably: 1-0.
That goal proved to be the start of a historic evening. Captain Orkun Kökçü doubled the margin by placing the ball with extreme precision in the corner and made it 3-0 before halftime from a penalty, after hands from Juchym Konoplja. In between, Heorhy Sudakov hit the crossbar.
That was briefly a convulsion by Sjachtar, as was a missed chance just before the break by ex-Ajacied Lassina Traoré, who pounced on Feyenoord goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther. For in the second half, Sjachtar were played almost drunk.
Sevilla mercenary Oussama Idrissi first claimed the leading role with two wonderful, almost identical, goals. The left winger pulled inside each time and then popped the ball into the far corner with his right.
Slot knew enough ahead of Sunday’s all-important Klassieker and brought Giménez and Sebastian Szymanski to the side after the 4-0, and after the 5-0, goal-scorer Idrissi was also rested.
Jahanbakhsh then lifted the score to 6-0, substitute Danilo provided the seventh Rotterdam goal and Kevin Kelsy saved the honor. The 7-1 final score was an unprecedented luxury for a reigning Feyenoord, who will get clarity on Friday about their opponent in the last eight.
A worry for later, because first up in Amsterdam on Sunday awaits pursuer Ajax, who have already declared themselves favorites through coach John Heitinga and captain Dusan Tadic. Based on the impressive game against Sjachtar, Feyenoord will not lose any sleep over those statements.