After nine games of the season, the competition is warming up in Belgium. Club Brugge, Anderlecht and Racing Genk are all unbeaten and all have reason to be happy with their form. With Gent also handily placed in the table, onlyStandard of the ‘Big Five’ have troubles and at Sclessin, that comes with a capital ‘T’.
Leaders Club Brugge visited Gent and the result was one of the best games of the season. ‘Club’ were missing several players through injury (including Lior Refaelov, Ryan Donk and Niki Zimling) but their policy of having a large squad has paid off. On Sunday, the match saw 39 attempts on goal; despite that, Georges Leekens found time to complain about a valid Carlos Bacca goal being disallowed. The Colombian did score though and is now heading that list, along with Leuven’s Ibou Savaneh on seven goals. The game finished 2-2 and ‘Club’ may be without Meme Tchité for a couple of weeks.
Anderlecht made ground on the leaders by defeating Lokeren 3-0. John Van den Brom said it was their best performance of the season and the Dutch coach has certainly convinced any doubters about him being the right man for the job. Dieumerci Mbokani was in good form – two more goals – but spoiled his day by fouling Kailin Overmeire off camera. Ivory Coast keeper Copa Barry was in fine form but he made one fatal error and was unlucky with a deviation on Olivier Deschacht’s long-range effort.
Genk met KV Mechelen in an entertaining game and Mario Been’s men proved their fighting spirit by coming from behind to take the points 2-1. Jelle Vossen and Benji De Ceulaer both scored their fifth goal of the season.
Zulte Waregem went to Lierse, who were suffering from a number of players being on the treatment table, and scored four goals. Three came from French striker Habib Habibou, who had scored in the Cup during the week on his return to the side. His final came from a Thorgan Hazard assist.
Beerschot slipped up at Mons where they lost to typical Jeremy Perbet goal, unmarked from close-in. He had also returned to his club’s side in mid-week in the Cup. Leuven thrashed Waasland-Beveren 5-2 with Ibou scoring goals in the 88th and 92nd minutes. Icelandic midfielder Stefan Gislason scored Leuven’s second with a superb free-kick.
Bob Peeters’ Cercle Brugge got their first win of the season and everyone celebrated as if they had won the cup. ’Cercle’ dominated the game but had to wait until the 91st minute before substitute Rudy ended the deadlock. It was tough luck on Charleroi’s Montenegrin defender Mijusko Bojovic as the shot hit him on the way past Parfait Mandanda.
Finally, back to Standard. Ron Jans took his team to Kortrijk and made a number of changes, including moving captain Jelle Van Damme into midfield. Les Rouches went behind after 13 minutes when a Zukanovic free kick was deflected off Yoni Buyens into Eiji Kawashima’s net. Nacho Gonzalez equalised from the spot after Kortrijk’s goalscorer had been dismissed for hand ball – despite there being two defenders behind him. Against 10 men though, Standard created nothing and Pablo Chavarria, on loan from Anderlecht, broke away to give the points to Kortrijk. That was Standard’s fourth successive defeat and next weekend they receive Anderlecht at Sclessin. There will be blood.
Mons 1 Beerschot 0; Kortrijk 2 Standard 1; Genk 2 KV Mechelen 1; Leuven 5 Waasland-Beveren 2; Cercle Brugge 1 Charleroi 0; Lierse 1 Zulte Waregem 4; Gent 2 Club Brugge2; Anderlecht 3 Lokeren 0.
Performance of the week: Anderlecht
Player of the week: Habib Habibou
Club Brugge 21 points; Anderlecht 19, Genk 17, Zulte Waregem 16, Gent 15, Kortrijk 14.
7 goals – Carlos Bacca (Club Brugge), Ibou Savaneh (Leuven)
6 goals –Dieumerci Mbokani (Anderlecht)
5 goals – Lior Refaelov (Club Brugge), Mustapha Jarju (Mons), Franck Berrier (Zulte Waregem), Benjamin De Ceulaer (Lokeren/Genk), Nacho Gonzalez (Standard), Jelle Vossen (Genk)