You would almost forget it because of all the commotion, but Feyenoord has a pretty good back in the second half of the top against PSV. After a dramatic first half, the people of Rotterdam managed to drag a tie out of the fire. An analysis of the importance of the changeover during this comeback.
By Evert van Zoelen
PSV dominates in the first halfThe game of Feyenoord is characterized by high pressure this season and immediately chasing the opponent in the event of a ball loss. Trainer Arne Slot sharpened these game intentions with the Rotterdammers immediately after he took office. Feyenoord knows how to make it difficult for many opponents: for example, two weeks ago Olympique Marseille was put with his back against the wall at times due to the high pressure of the Rotterdammers.
Against PSV, Feyenoord does not find this intensity in the first half. If the Rotterdammers lose the ball, they do not get pressure on the ball because the distances between them are too large.
Feyenoord loses the ball, the distances between them are too large to put pressure on the ball directly. Source: ESPN
It is even Feyenoord itself that introduces a large part of the danger of PSV. The ball is regularly lost early in the build-up, after which the Eindhoven residents can come to a counterattack. This rapid ball loss also ensures that Feyenoord cannot get into the right organization to put pressure on the ball if it is lost.
Feyenoord loses the ball in the build-up, after which PSV can immediately launch a counterattack. Source: ESPN
These problems in the changeover trigger both Eindhoven goals. In the sixteenth minute, it is the moderately playing Orkun Kokcü who leads ball loss in midfield. Feyenoord has no pressure on the ball, allowing Joey Veerman to release the ball. Veerman can always cause danger in the first half with his passes and this time he manages to reach Cody Gakpo with a hand ball. Gakpo takes the ball well and shoots in cold-blooded, after which PSV leads 0-1.
Mario Götze takes away the ball from Kokcü. Source: ESPN
In the situation that follows, Veerman is completely free, after which Gakpo is stabbed away and shoots in the 0-1. Source: ESPN
In the 0-2 we see the same situation with the Rotterdammers. Cyriel Dessers is sent into the depth, but does not know how to shield the ball. Next, the front five players of Feyenoord want to push forward immediately, while the back five players are not connected. In the meantime, Götze cleverly pulls Fredrik Aursnes away, allowing Veerman to be completely free in the midfield again. He opens the ball to Gakpo, who strikes a hit after a good combination with Eran Zahavi.
Dessers is sent deep, but cannot hold the ball. Source: ESPN
Next, the front five players of Feyenoord want to put pressure right away. Source: ESPN
There is no step from backwards and Götze has pulled Aursnes away, leaving Veerman completely free. Source: ESPN
Veerman opens to Gako. Götze makes the running action on the outside to pull Lutsharel Geertruida away, after which Gakpo can combine and shoot in. Source: ESPN
Feyenoord takes hold again in the second halfAfter rest, the organization of Feyenoord is much better. Under the leadership of the fanatical incident Bryan Linssen, aggressive pressure is put when the ball is lost. It connects better from backwards, which makes it easier for the midfielders of Feyenoord to put pressure on the ball. The few times that PSV does get through, the Rotterdammers make a violation to take out the counterattack. This leads to a few yellow cards, but above all ensures that PSV no longer becomes dangerous in the second half.
Slot has also devised a plan to stop Veerman. In the second half, Luis Sinisterra, who starts as an attacking midfielder, becomes the personal guard of the PSV midfielder. Later in the match, Linssen takes over this task, when Sinisterra moves back to the side.
Feyenoord is better connected in the second half. When the team now loses the ball, pressure can be given immediately. Source: ESPN
As a result, Feyenoord has to walk back a lot less often and it can continue to play on half of PSV for longer. Ultimately, this improved changeover even leads to the connection target.
Feyenoord loses the ball and puts the pressure ahead immediately. Source: ESPN
Philippe Sandler steps from backwards and manages to conquer the ball with Luis Sinisterra. Source: ESPN
Sinisterra can continue attacking right away and gives the pass from which Dessers makes the 1-2. Source: ESPN
In the absolute final phase, Dessers even manages to make the 2-2. A shot by Jens Toornstra is blocked, resulting in the much-discussed penalty kick. It ensures that Feyenoord is almost certain of place three, with the Conference League final still coming, while PSV with two more games toare going to have probably lost the title.