Feyenoord has done excellent business in the Champions League. With flashy and energetic football, the Rotterdammers were a size too big for the Italian Lazio in De Kuip in their third group match: 3-1.
Santiago Gimenez, who was back after a suspension and made his debut in the Champions League, scored two goals.
The victory puts Feyenoord at the top of group E. Later in the evening, Atlético Madrid did not get further than 2-2 when they visited Celtic. Feyenoord previously won against Celtic (2-0) and lost to Atlético (3-2).
Last year, the Rotterdam team lost in the Europa League without a chance in Rome (4-2), but they recovered in the last group match and became group winners thanks to a 1-0 win.
A year later, the champion of the Netherlands in particular appeared to have grown. Feyenoord put Lazio under pressure from the first minute, gave the opponent no chance to cross the halfway line and managed to find a free man again and again in the build-up.
That quickly led to opportunities. For example, Gimenez headed the ball just wide from an Igor Paixão cross within ten minutes.
Halfway through the first half, Calvin Stengs put the Mexican striker in front of goalkeeper Ivan Provedel with a beautiful through ball. Under pressure from two Lazio defenders, Gimenez did not get off well, but he still saw his shot via the leg of Elseid Hysaj, which arced over the keeper and into the goal.
De Kuip exploded, but that turned out to be premature. The VAR noted that Gimenez had been slightly offside and therefore the goal was cancelled.
The opening goal came five minutes later. Mats Wieffer intercepted a sloppy pass from defender Casale and, after a combination with Stengs, found Gimenez, who placed the ball in the Lazio goal with a precise slide.
Feyenoord kept a firm grip and was allowed to cheer again in injury time of the first half. This time it was Stengs who, after a long attack from the back line, put the ball back to Ramiz Zerrouki and who shot with a beautiful curl out of reach of goalkeeper Provedel into the corner: 2-0.
It was only in the 57th minute that Lazio appeared threatening for the first time and this immediately provided a great opportunity for substitute Valentin Castellanos. Goalkeeper Justin Bijlow stopped Mattia Zaccagni’s effort, but the ball rolled at the feet of the Argentinian attacker. The replacement for the invisible goalgetter Ciro Immobile miraculously worked the ball over the Feyenoord goal.
Feyenoord did not seem shocked and immediately came out threatening again through Igor Paixão, who served Quilindschy Hartman. However, the left back’s shot was blocked before the line by an Italian leg.
Fifteen minutes before the end, Gimenez again dealt the final blow. The Mexican was alert when goalkeeper Provedel allowed a rebound on a shot by Quinten Timber to make his second of the match: 3-0.
Ten minutes before the end, Stengs and especially Gimenez were given a well-deserved substitution. Croatian Luka Ivanusec got his first playing minutes since he injured his ankle in the first Champions League match against Celtic.
From the bench, Gimenez heard how the crowd started to accompany every Rotterdam pass with a loud ‘olé’, but that stopped when substitute Marcos Lopez committed an clumsy foul in his own box.
Lazio substitute Pedro then shot the penalty (3-1), but it never became exciting after that. However, it became unfriendly in the final phase and it was a miracle that both teams with eleven players made it to the end.
The German referee handed out no fewer than twelve yellow cards: five to Feyenoord, seven to Lazio.
Celtic keep Atlético at 2-2
Later in the evening, the match between Celtic and Atlético Madrid ended 2-2. The still scoreless Scots made it 1-0 after four minutes through the Japanese Kyogo Furuhashi. Midway through the first half, Antoine Griezmann equalized from a penalty. At least, he shot the penalty against the post, but then he used the rebound himself.
The Honduran Luis Palma ensured that Celtic went into halftime with a deserved 2-1 lead with a precise slide, but the Scots were unable to hold on to that. Álvaro Morata made it 2-2 with a clever header.
After Rodrigo De Paul received his second yellow card in the final phase, the Spaniards cherished the point. Celtic tried again, but could no longer find the goal.
The match started with a remarkable protest from some Celtic fans, who held up en masse Palestinian flags.
The post first appeared on nos.nl