Feyenoord deal thud to Ajax in title race; first win at Arena since 2005

Feyenoord deal thud to Ajax in title race; first win at Arena since 2005

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Watch the summary of Ajax – Feyenoord

Feyenoord dealt a sensitive blow to Ajax in the battle for the title. In an intense Klassieker at the Johan Cruijff Arena, the leaders from Rotterdam beat their archrival 3-2. It was Feyenoord’s first win at the Arena since 2005.

As a result, the difference between Feyenoord and Ajax has increased to six points with eight games to go.

Premier league standings

At Ajax, Jorge Sánchez was once again in the starting lineup, due to an injury to right back Devyne Rensch. It was the only change from last week’s game with sc Heerenveen.

Feyenoord had one change in the base compared to the Europa League game with Shachtar Donetsk: Quilindschy Hartman was better again and replaced Marcos López at left back.

Killer pace

The Classic started as everyone had hoped: at a murderous pace and full of fierce duels. And the first best chance was an immediate hit.

Santiago Gimenez was the end of a well-oiled Feyenoord attack: via a heel from Oussama Idrissi and a cross from Hartman, the Mexican coolly slid the ball past goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli as early as the fifth minute (0-1). Gimenez’s eighth goal of the season.

Ajax took a while to recover from that early thump, but managed to pick up the thread. A free kick from former Feyenoord player Steven Berghuis sailed a meter wide of the goal and in the seventeenth minute the score was level again.

Edson Álvarez was overlooked at a corner by the Feyenoord defense and headed in the 1-1 at the far post.

Watch the reactions of both teams after the match and the arrival of the Feyenoord player bus at the Kuip below.

Calm certainly did not return after that: like an express train, the game continued to wave up and down, full of hard duels. And sometimes too hard: in the twentieth minute, Hartman – who had received a yellow early in the match – brought down Mohammed Kudus.

Hartman escapes and is substituted

To Feyenoord’s relief, referee Danny Makkelie kept a second yellow card in his pocket. Coach Arne Slot, however, saw a red hanging in the air and brought Hartman to the side just five minutes later, in favor of López.

The Amsterdammers had the better of the game in this phase, which led to a lead eight minutes before halftime. Berghuis found Steven Bergwijn, on the edge of offside, on the flank and he served Dusan Tadic the right way.

The captain – in whom the much-discussed OneLove band was hidden under his Amsterdam captain’s armband before halftime – finished in a controlled manner for the 2-1 lead.

VAR’s line shows: Steven Bergwijn was not offside

Even after that, the crowd was occasionally short of eyes in the riveting first half. Dávid Hancko, for example, had the best chance on behalf of Feyenoord just before half-time.

Feyenoord take control

After fifteen minutes of breathing space, the second half got off to as spectacular a start as the first. Feyenoord immediately stepped on the gas and put full pressure on the Amsterdam defense, which was at a loss for words.

After a long attack, which began with Rulli saving a great chance for López, the ball was finally crossed by Alireza Jahanbakhsh, whereupon Sebastian Szymanski popped the 2-2 against the ropes in the 52nd minute.

Feyenoord had things completely under control in this phase, and it took as much as 15 minutes before Ajax began to get somewhat involved in the game again.

It was not as intense as before half-time, but the tension compensated a lot. Szymanski did get one more great opportunity when he headed alone at Rulli, but only produced a weak shot.

Both trainers made plenty of changes for the final quarter of an hour, in which both clubs still went for the win. Ajax had a great chance in the 84th minute through Kudus, which Wellenreuther saved with fingertips.

Kudus balks after his missed chance in the closing stages against Feyenoord.

But two minutes later it was a hit for the leaders, who have scored so often after the 85th minute: Hancko headed a corner and Lutsharel Geertruida headed the 3-2 past Rulli.

An exciting final phase followed, but Ajax could no longer prevent Feyenoord from stepping off the field as winners in Amsterdam for the first time in eighteen years.

Kayleigh Williams