After the first weekend of the playoffs, the local media are already talking about a two-horse race for the championship: that’s Standard Liege and Club Brugge. Not good news for Anderlecht, who lost 1-0 at Sclessin thanks to a goal from Mehdi Carcela who later received a red card and later a two-match ban.
Club Brugge continued their recent good form with a 5-1 thrashing of cup-holders Lokeren. The man getting the plaudits for the Blauw-Zwart was Israeli international Lior Refaelov. He’s a talented player but one who tends to turn on the magic when the going is not too tough.
Standard looked impressive against Anderlecht in the first half but the Brussels side looked a bit happier after the break when Aleksander Mitrovic came on and there was a switch to 4-4-2. Even so it’s remarkable that Anderlecht don’t seem to know what their best team is. They sacked the coach but maybe the squad is the problem. They certainly lack leadership. Andy Najar was impressive for Anderlecht while Eiji Kawashima was again excellent for Standard.
In the other game, Zulte Waregem won 3-0 at struggling Genk. It was good to see Theo Bongonda getting a start for Zulte Waregem – he’s a graduate of one of the many Jean-Marc Guillou academies.
Standings: Standard 37, Club Brugge 35, Zulte Waregem 30, Anderlecht 29, Lokeren 26, Genk 23.
In Group ‘A’, Oostende surprisingly won at Gent, where it only seems a matter of time before Mircea Rednic is sacked. Waasland-Beveren beat Lierse 2-0, Anderlecht loanee Dalibor Veselinovic got one for Beveren. Tony Watt is still out of the picture at Lierse after his bust-up with the coach.
In Group ‘B’, Kortrijk easily beat Cercle Brugge 4-0, with Stijn De Smet prominent. Charleroi had a useful win 2-0 at KV Mechelen, despite being with 10 men for 70 minutes. For Les Carolos, Cédric Faure had another useful game and it looks like he could stay at the club next season.
It looks bad for Mons as they lost 2-0 at Leuven in the first of the five-match series. Leuven started the contest with a three-point advantage and are therefore now six points ahead of their rivals for relegation. Sawaneh Ibou was prominent for Leuven.