Football: Fans' bad behaviour disturbs Rotterdam

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The Independent Online
Rotterdam was no place for the faint-hearted yesterday. Three penalties were awarded in the first 15 minutes of the Dutch First Division match between Feyenoord and Ajax, which was preceded by fighting between fans and police in the city centre and the stoning of the Ajax team coach. The match, incidentally, ended in a 2-2 draw.

Ajax missed a chance to take a second-minute lead when Patrick Kluivert blazed a spot kick over the bar. Two minutes later the wily Ronald Koeman made no mistake with his penalty for the home side. Ajax did manage to score from the spot, however, after 15 minutes, when Ronald de Boer found the net.

Within a minute, though, Bernard Schuiteman had restored Feyenoord's lead, heading home a rebound after Koeman's free-kick had come back off the bar. Kluivert made amends for his early miss by equalising midway through the second half, shooting home after a clever one-two with Nordin Wooter.

That completed the scoring in a fixture which has never ended goalless - although Koeman nearly headed into his own net late in the game. Feyenoord's point leaves them in second place in the league, three points behind PSV Eindhoven, who won 2-0 at AZ Alkmaar. Ajax are fifth, 11 points adrift of PSV.

The kick-off in Rotterdam had been delayed by 15 minutes. Feyenoord fans lobbed a fire-bomb at police in the centre of the city and Ajax fans arriving by train pelted police with ball-bearings. Mounted police charged supporters, making 17 arrests. Nearer the ground Feyenoord fans attacked Ajax's team coach, throwing stones, bottles and sticks and breaking one window.

In Italy, the Milan derby also finished all square. Roberto Baggio chipped a third-minute goal to give Milan the lead, but Internazionale levelled thanks to a Youri Djorkaeff penalty nine minutes later. Vicenza, a Third Division club only four years ago, hold the sole lead of Serie A for the first time in their 94-year history, thanks to their 2-0 win over Reggiana.

In Spain, Barcelona lost their first league game of the season on Saturday, going down 2-1 at Athletic Bilbao. Real Madrid, for whom Davor Suker scored a hat-trick, took advantage with last night's 4-2 win over Valencia, which took them a point clear.

In France, Nigeria's Victor Ikpeba and Scotland's John Collins scored in Monaco's 2-0 home win over Nancy that leaves them a point behind the leaders, Paris St-Germain. Two goals from Mario Basler gave the German Bundesliga leaders, Bayern Munich, a 2-1 victory over Hansa Rostock but their coach, Giovanni Trapattoni, was not happy. "We didn't play good football, we looked nervous and inhibited," he said.