At the end, there was no surprise. Anderlecht are champions! The manner was surprising however, with Guillaume Gillet equalising against Club Brugge from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game. It was a penalty, however, with Almeback pushing Dieumerci Mbokani in the 94th minute.
The game itself can be forgotten, as can the playoffs themseves. Thoughts now, at Anderlecht anyway, turn to which players will move on. Juhasz, Matias Suarez, Biglia and Mbokani could all leave, but they will all be watching the Champions League final closely. If Chelsea win, Anderelcht will have to qualify for next season’s Champions League; if Bayern Munich win – and they should, then the Belgian champions will go directly into the Champions League pools. That might be enough for one or two players to stay on. Regardless, I think Lucas Biglia and Roland Juhasz are the ones most likely to say enough is enough.
In yesterday’s other game, Christian Benteke scored an 88th minute winner for Genk against his old club – Standard Liege – in a 3-2 win at Sclessin. Benteke has always felt he was harshly treated by Standard and revenge was late but sweet. Vossen scored again for Genk, as did teenage Imoh Ezekiel for Standard.
That result means that Club Brugge, Genk and Gent will be fighting for the other places in Europe. Anything could happen and it probably will. Even if the last few games are exciting, there will still be a majority of fans, players and coaches who are anti play-offs.