In a weekend full of incident, red cards made the front page. The most discussed dismissal came in the Germinal Beerschot – Anderlecht encounter where young Romelu Lukaku was sent off in the 91st minute. The striker received yellow cards for kicking the corner flag – after making a goal for Kanu – and for shooting after the whistle had gone. Anderlecht president Roger Vanden Stock felt moved to say that the dismissal had been “far too severe” and coach Ariel Jacobs wanted referees to be consistent as they often ignored genuine aggression. As for the referee, Sébastien Delferière echoed Edith Piaf; he had no regrets.
The other red cards of note came at Eupen, where Kortrijk lost two men – Pelé Mboyo and Brecht Capon. Facing nine opponents, Eupen turned 1-1 into 3-1 and took themselves out of the relegation zone for the first time. Mboyo was an unhappy man, it had been his first fault and he hadn’t touched his opponent.
As expected, league leaders Genk took three points from bottom club Charleroi. The zebras had just returned from a few days in Malaga and everyone connected with Sporting Charleroi agreed that the trip had been a great success. We will see. The recriminations came from Genk coach Franky Vercauteren, who had to stop himself from saying “friendlies, bloody friendlies” after Jelle Vossen’s injury following his punishing trip to Russia with the national team. Vercauteren limited himself to saying that players who were 100% could more easily avoid injuries; Vossen will be out until January with ligament damage. On the positive front, Marvin Ogunjimi and Elianiv Barda look fully capable of taking over scoring duties for Genk; Ogunjimi’s two goals were superbly taken. There were more recriminations – this time against his own team – from Standard’s Laurent Ciman, another player back from Russia. Following his side’s defeat at Zulte-Waregem, Ciman summed up the match by saying it was not that Zulte-Waregem had been good, but that Standard had been very bad. “Catastrophic”, he added.
Reserves were out in force for Anderlecht. With Lucas Biglia limping off (hamstring) after 20 minutes, Anderlecht had five first choice players (Biglia plus Deschacht, Boussoufa, Jushasz and Kouyaté) missing. Nevertheless they came through (a 1-0 victory over Germinal Beerschot) with promising Brazilian Rubenilson dos Santos da Rocha – fortunately known as Kanu, Sacha Kljestan and Ondrej Mazuch all prominent.
There was fun and games at Ghent where the home team were leading 3-0 at half-time, but only managed to share the points with Westerlo. The visitors came back to 3-3 before Ghent went ahead in the 78th minute through substitute Sory Ibrahima Conté, only to see another replacement, Westerlo’s Daniel Chavez, make it 4-4 in the 94th minute.
The Brugge bragging rights went to “Cercle” with a 1-0 victory over “Club” thanks to a goal from Kristof D’Haene. Lierse lost at home to Sint Truiden and that was enough for coach Eric Van Meir to resign. Next morning he agreed to say on, saying he’d been too emotional. And don’t ignore Lokeren’s win over KV Mechelen (two goals for Benjamin De Ceulaer), a win at Kortrijk next week could put them in the top three.