‘Super Sunday’ ended with Anderlecht coach Ariel Jacobs smiling after his depleted team won at Genk. The match never reached the heights expected and the visitors did just enough to take the three points. With Standard Liège getting a point from their trip to Club Brugge, the title race is warming up nicely. Genk though, who could have gone 10 points clear last Friday had they won at Kortrijk, have seen their lead diminish to a slender two points.
After Anderlecht’s victory, Genk coach Franky Vercauteren said that the visitors’ victory was undeserved. That was arguable, although Genk striker Thomas Buffel did have what seemed to be a good goal disallowed for offside. Ex-Ranger Buffel was one of the few creative players on the pitch, along with Anderlecht’s Jonathan Legear. Scouts were said to be there from Arsenal, Chelsea, Spurs, Everton, Bayern Munich, Ajax, PSV, Bordeaux and many others – they probably left disappointed. Romelu Lukaku scored Anderlecht’s winner but did little else, Jelle Vossen was almost invisible and his strike partner Marvin Ogunjimi only played for the last 10 minutes after a stomach problem. Genk’s inexperienced team seem to be running out of steam.
Standard Liège got a well-earned point at the Jan Breydel stadium. In a game where no prisoners were taken; both sides finished with 10 men. Liège keeper Sinan Bolat was injured in a tussle with ex-colleague Wilfried Dalmat and that led to Club Brugge’s equaliser. Bolat was replaced by Montenegrin Srdan Blazic and his kamikaze exploits led to Brugge’s second goal – both going to Venezuelan Roland Vargas – now averaging almost a goal a game. Standard never gave up though, with Axel Witsel and Steven Defour again prominent in midfield.
On Saturday, Ghent had taken three useful points against KV Mechelen, points that kept them in the mix. Five of the weekend’s eight games ended all-square and, apart from Anderlecht and Ghent, the only other winners were Westerlo. They got an extra-time winner to defeat Cercle Brugge and leave young boss Bob Peeters scowling on the touchline.
Next Friday, Genk visit Westerlo and Vercauteren will be hoping for something better. He will have to find something quickly. On Saturday, Standard Liège will welcome Eupen, which should mean three points, but they’ll be without the suspended Defour. Club Brugge will be the visitors at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium.
Before then, though, Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Ghent have Europa League games to contend with. Anderlecht go to Athens to play AEK and Ariel Jacobs will be hoping that he retains his smile – one defeat for ‘Les Mauves’ usually brings talk of a crisis.
Results: Zulte Waregem 1 – Lokeren 1; Eupen 2- Lierse 2; Westerlo 2 – Cercle Brugge 1; Ghent 3 – KV Mechelen 1; Charleroi 0 – Kortrijk 0; Germinal Beerschot 0 – St. Truiden 0; Racing Genk 1 – Anderlecht 2; Club Brugge 2 – Standard Liège 2.
Positions: (top and bottom)
1. Racing Genk (29 points), 2. Anderlecht (27), 3. Ghent (25), 4. Standard Liège (24), 5. KV Mechelen, Cercle Brugge and Lokeren (all 22).
14. Lierse (8), 15. Charleroi (7), 16. Eupen (5).