Feyenoord’s Champions League return didn’t go as hoped with the Rotterdammers completely outclassed by a Manchester City side that ran out 4-0 winners at De Kuip.

The De Kuip crowd created an excellent atmosphere before kick-off as Champions League group stage football returned to Rotterdam for the first time in fifteen years. Sadly after a horrid opening ten minutes, all the wind was taken out their sails as the Feyenoord players failed to live up to the occasion.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst decided to change his formation to a 5-2-3 with Sofyan Ambrabat and Eric Botteghin coming in for Kevin Diks and Jens Toornstra as Feyenoord looked to keep it tight defensively. However, after only 90 seconds, Berghuis sloppy pass led to a Manchester City corner which was headed into the net by John Stones, despite Tonny Vilhena being perfectly positioned on the line to clear.

A horrible start got worse on nine minutes as Kyle Walker raced past Miquel Nelom on the right wing before crossing for Sergio Aguero to hammer a shot past Brad Jones.

Through Steven Berghuis and Michiel Kramer, Feyenoord created two decent chances, but neither really troubled Ederson in the City goal and with the clock on 25 minutes it was 3-0. Jones kept out a Benjamin Mendy shot but nobody was marking Gabriel Jesus, who was on hand to net from close range.

It could and should have been much worse than 3-0 at the break as Feyenoord looked unable to contain a City side that poured forward at will with their pace and movement far too much for the Eredivisie champions defence.

Jens Toornstra came off the bench at half time as Feyenoord reverted back to a 4-3-3 and it helped them get into the game more early in the second half. Manchester City were still looking for more goals, though, and on the hour mark Stones rose above Botteghin to head in his second of the game. That proved to be the final goal of the game as Manchester City thankfully eased up before the end.

One positive in a miserable night for the home crowd was a first debut handed to 18-year-old Rotterdam born striker Dylan Vente, who came on for Michiel Kramer with twenty minutes to go.

Not the start Feyenoord would have wanted to the competition and they immediately sit bottom of the group, with Shakhtar Donetsk beating Napoli 2-1 in the other game. Next up for Feyenoord is a trip to Naples in two weeks, but first they must pick themselves up for a tough league match against PSV Eindhoven this weekend.




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