The first weekend after the Jupiler League’s mid-season break saw important wins for Anderlecht, Racing Genk, Ghent and Club Brugge. The big losers were Standard Liege who put out a half-strength side for the visit to Anderlecht. This match, the so-called “Clasico” failed to live up to its billing as, without Steven Defour and Axel Witsel, Liege are unlikely to win (m)any games.
Anderlecht’s 2-0 victory, with one from Guillaume Gillet and a penalty transformed by Jonathan Legear, means that Standard Liege have lost three games in a row and will find it very hard to qualify for the playoffs. Coach Dominique D’Onofrio was even heard to say that Wednesday night’s cup-tie with KV Mechelen would be a more important game. Legear got a few tweets flying by telling the press he might but be at the club in three days time. Everton are the club most often mentioned as his destination.
The best match of the weekend was at the Cristal Arena where Genk came back to defeat a well-organised Kortrijk team 3-2. Kortrijk led twice and “Pele” Mboyo in particular caught the eye. Genk’s young keeper Thibaut Courtois was again outstanding and the returning Kevin De Bruyne made one and scored one for the home side. Hungarian international midfielder Daniel Tozser hit the winner with a free-kick that was good enough to win a Champions League final. The game also saw a brief cameo from Genk debutant Anthony Vanden Borre; Franky Vercauteren knows him well and said it’s all down to Vanden Borre if he wants to succeed at Genk. Young Anthony is known as Belgium’s “enfant terrible” – in the French-speaking press at least.
Club Brugge made it nine points from three games with a 4-1 win at Eupen on a snow-covered pitch. There were two goals for Ronald Vargas and a tap-in for Ivan Perisic – both players are chasing Genk’s Jelle Vossen in the scoring charts. Club Brugge’s ground-sharing neighbours Cercle Brugge continued their good home form with a 3-0 defeat of Lierse. The visitors’ new coach Trond Sollied was happy, to an extent, saying he had seen more good things than bad. He then rather spoilt things for Wesley Sonck and Tomasz Radzinski by saying he needed more strikers.
Germinal Beerschot had their first win under new coach Jacky Mathijssen, defeating Zulte Waregem 3-0 with two penalties converted by Uruguayan Gary Kagelmacher. The big defender’s claim to fame is that he once made an appearance for Real Madrid.
Westerlo had a much-needed win, 3-0 versus Sint Truiden. Jan Ceulemans was happy as he wanted to take some form into the mid-week cup game with Lierse. Charleroi drew 0-0 with KV Mechelen and the much-changed team gave an encouraging performance. They need to improve as the Zebres have not won since August.
The final game of the weekend saw Ghent defeat Lokeren 2-1 despite being totally outplayed in the second half. Ghent’s Serb keeper Jorgacevic was instrumental in making this Lokeren’s first defeat in 14 games.
1. Anderlecht; played 23 – 53 points.
2. Genk; 22- 47.
3. Ghent; 22 – 42.
4. Club Brugge; 23 – 39.
5. Cercle Brugge; 21 -35.
6. Lokeren; 21 – 35.