UEFA.com works better on other browsers
For the best possible experience, we recommend using Chrome, Firefox or Microsoft Edge.

Feyenoord v Standard ... 41 years on

Feyenoord meet R. Standard de Liège in Group G on Thursday – UEFA.com reflects on a past encounter, in 1973, which set the Dutch side on their way to glory.

Feyenoord's Theo De Jong in action in the 1974 UEFA Cup final
Feyenoord's Theo De Jong in action in the 1974 UEFA Cup final ©Getty Images

The UEFA Europa League matchday two encounter between Feyenoord and R. Standard de Liège in the Netherlands is sure to rekindle memories of their meeting 41 years ago.

The two teams played in the 1973/74 UEFA Cup third round for a place in the quarter-finals of the third edition of the competition. The first leg, scheduled for 28 November, was postponed until 12 December due to heavy snowfall. Though Feyenoord took the lead in Belgium through Jørgen Kristensen, goals from Christian Piot – a penalty – Johnny Lambrichts and Jean Thissen put Standard in the ascendancy ahead of their trip to Rotterdam a week later.

Feyenoord, though, had not consigned themselves to defeat and pulled one back an hour into the return leg when Lex Schoenmaker latched onto Gilbert Govaert's poor back pass. Visiting goalkeeper Piot then misjudged Wim van Hanegem's long-range shot to draw the Dutch side level on aggregate and, ultimately, into the last eight on away goals.

"I was surprised," Piot recalled. "The ball was slippery due to the wet and went through my hands and legs because of that. But that does not mean it wasn't a terrible mistake." Defender Nicolas Dewalque was quick to leap to the keeper's defence. "None of us are angry with Piot," he said. "Although his mistake cost us a place in the the quarter-finals, we have to be honest – Christian has won so many matches for Standard and the national team in the past, it would not be right for us to blame him too much for this mistake."

Late Feyenoord coach Wiel Coerver conceded his team did not play too well, but added: "I think it was clear that we – not Standard – deserved a place in the quarter-finals." Coerver's Standard counterpart Vlatko Marković said: "We lost very unluckily by two mistakes – my team did very well. However, now Feyenoord have made it, I think they can get far in this tournament."

Marković's words proved to be prophetic, for Feyenoord subsequently overcame KS Ruch Chorzów and VfB Stuttgart en route to a 4-2 aggregate victory against Tottenham Hotspur FC in the final. That served to underline the Dutch clubs' dominance of the era, with Feyenoord having also lifted the 1970 European Champion Clubs' Cup before three successive triumphs for countrymen AFC Ajax.