Feyenoord put more space between themselves and challengers PSV and FC Twente. The leaders beat NEC 2-0 and have a six-point gap on the Eindhoven side and the Enschedeers, who both failed to win in this round of fixtures.
The next few weeks are supposed to show how strong Feyenoord are and if they can be seen as the leading title contenders. Arne Slot’s side is starting a challenging run with matches against FC Twente (away), PSV (home), sc Heerenveen (away), and AZ (home). They are, at present, the numbers 4, 3, 8, and 2 in the league table. Between these four matches, Feyenoord will face NEC again in the last 16 of the KNVB Beker.
Three days after the much-talked-about match with rivals Ajax (1-1), Feyenoord took the lead over NEC early on. After good work from right back Marcus Pedersen, Javairo Dilrosun was able to hit the ball home from close range after nine minutes.
Slot gave Dilrosun the nod over Alireza Jahanbaksch, who was a starter against Ajax. For the one-time international of the Netherlands side, it was his fifth goal of the season in the Eredivisie and his first since October.
NEC tried to attack before halftime and got through a few times. Souffian El Karouani’s attempt hit Justin Bijlow from close range, who, just like his NEC colleague, will be hoping to grow into the first-choice keeper for Ronald Koeman and Oranje. Bijlow also saved some attempts from Nany Landry Dimata.
The match in Rotterdam was decided in the injury time of the first half. Striker Santiago Gimenez, who kept Danilo out of the side, dribbled past Ivan Marquez. Referee Edwin van de Graaf gave a penalty and, after advice from the VAR, sent Marquez off with a red card. Captain Orkun Kokcü scored the penalty convincingly. Shortly before this, Igor Paixao had gone off with an injury.
Feyenoord was in control in the second half with a man advantage. The home team could not finish the chances, mainly due to good saves from Cillessen. Neraysho Kasanwirjo made his debut, having been signed by FC Groningen.
Feyenoord took the top spot back off AZ with the win and has two more points.