Feyenoord are now 12 points behind Ajax in the Eredivisie table after a shock 2-1 defeat to Heerenveen at De Kuip.

veermnGiovanni van Bronckhorst’s side look destined to finally put in a serious challenge to Ajax and PSV this season, but since the winter break Feyenoord have imploded and they suffered their third straight loss on Thursday.

The game started well for the home side as they dominated proceedings, but Michiel Kramer, Karim El Ahmadi and Jan-Arie van der Heijden all squandered good chances. Five minutes before the break the crowd was silenced as Sam Larsson played a brilliant through ball to Henk Veerman, who chipped the ball over Kenneth Vermeer and into the net.

It should have been 2-0 for Heerenveen after the break but Martin Thorsby somehow hit the bar with an empty goal gaping, while Luciano Slagveer was denied by Vermeer.

On 71 minutes Feyenoord equalised, and in stunning fashion, as Anass Achahbar sent an overhead kick into the net off the underside of the crossbar. The goal gave Feyenoord hope of a win, but Heerenveen snatched an unlikely victory with Joey van den Berg taking advantage of a scramble before firing past Vermeer.

Tonny Vilhena sent a free kick off the bar as Feyenoord searched for a leveler, while Mitchel Te Vrede was denied a goal against his former club by his own teammate.

Feyenoord are still third but they now only sit two points ahead of NEC and Heracles, while Heerenveen climb one place.

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