In mid-week, Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Standard Liege all showed their shortcomings in Europe. At the week-end, the three ‘big’ clubs all exhibited similar weaknesses back in the Jupiler League. In three hours of football, none of these clubs have managed to score a goal. It’s to be hoped – for their sake – that not too many agents were watching Suarez, Mbokani, Biglia, Akpala, Tchite, Batshuayi et al.
There can be little said about Anderlecht’s visit to Lierse except they were not the best team on view. Silvio Proto said the result (0-0) was scandalous while Ariel Jacobs said that certain players thought they just had to turn up to get the points. Strangely, Jacobs only made one change – taking off an invisible Guilaume Gillet. Milan Jovanovic, who criticised the defence last week, was silent. Roland Juhasz got what he wanted – a second yellow – and will miss the next two games.
Standard Liege were probably even worse against Sint Truiden, achieving their second successive 0-0 at home in four days. Regi Goreux did his best but there’s little else to say. Jelle Van Damme may be on the bench at Club Brugge and they need him.
Club Brugge themselves went to Genk and found the champions in much better health. Star of the show was Kevin De Bruyne who had a hand (or foot) in all three Genk goals. Christian Benteke scored two (he now has eight in his last nine games) but missed several easy chances; I’m informed that the Genk fans are still not convinced about the big striker. Anthony Vanden Borre tackled Brugge’s Maxime Lestienne from behind and the young forward will miss the rest of the season.
Mons went to Gent and lost 2-0, they now have two points from the last 24. After the game coach Dennis Van Wijk said he would not be renewing his contract at the end of the season. That was not appreciated by the management, who had kept him waiting as to whether he would be offered an extension, and they sacked him. The club is in a mess. As for Gent, they are third – 10 points behind Anderlecht – but they are lacking something. Trond Sollied seems to agree, saying there is much work to be done.
In a remarkable game at Kortrijk, Lokeren went down to 10 men in the first half but scored three second half goals to win 5-2. Lokeren coach Peter Maes was furious with the referee and was close to getting physical. Star of the show for Lokeren was Hamdi Harbaoui with two goals but Nill De Pauw (in the U21 squad) was also impressive. Kortrijk coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck will still be shaking his head.
Cercle Brugge won again and one more it was an ‘ugly’ win. Afterwards, coach Bob Peeters said the three points were the most important. He has a point as Cercle are fourth, have a very young squad and have a lot of injuries. And the pitch – due to be dug was – was rubbish.
In the other games, Westerlo went down 3-1 at home to a rejuvenated KV Mechelen. As usual, Julien Gorius was at the heart of things and he would love to be involved in the main playoffs. Beerschot defeated Leuven 2-1 and that meant that the infamous Playoffs 3 will be disputed between the aforementioned Westerlo and Franky Van der Elst’s Sint Truiden. Reza came back from injury for Sint Truiden at the weekend and that could spell trouble for Jan Ceuleman’s team.
Lierse 0 Anderlecht 0; Standard Liege 0 Sint Truiden 0; Genk 3 Club Brugge 0; Cercle Brugge 1 Zulte Waregem 0; Kortrijk 2 Lokeren 5; Gent 2 Mons 0; Beerschot 2Leuven 1; Westerlo 1 KV Mechelen 3.