The scoreline may suggest otherwise but Feyenoord were made to work hard to beat a stubborn Heracles side 3-0 in a heated game at De Kuip.

kuyt eliaAfter a tepid opening half hour Feyenoord took the lead in bizarre circumstances with Eljero Elia’s bouncing cross coming off the post and eventually crossing the line via Bram Castro’s gloves.

It was nearly 2-0 before the break with Simon Gustafson hitting the post, but the Swedish midfielder was lucky to remain on the pitch after elbowing Fledderus in the stomach. While the match was threatening to boil over with tough challenges between Ramon Zomer and Michiel Kramer going unpunished.

After the break Heracles rallied and the away side created several chances to equalise, but Mike te Wierik, Iliass Bel Hassani and Oussama Tannane all failed to beat Kenneth Vermeer, while Thomas Bruns shot a dangerous free kick straight into the wall.

Heracles chance of a comeback was ended with eight minutes left when Ramon Zomer lost his cool after a challenge with Dirk Kuyt and a grab on Michiel Kramer earned the defender a straight red card. A minute later Kuyt headed in the free kick to put Feyenoord two up and just before the end Kramer added a third.

Feyenoord remain in second place while Heracles sit 4th.

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