So…as we begin to enter the nitty gritty before the play offs, scores still have to be settled on the pitch and today it was the turn of the top three to take centre stage, especially at the Constant Vanden Stock where the game of the day…hey, the game of the weekend kicked off between Anderlecht and Zulte Waregem in the early kick off!
With these matches you may think it’ll be a game of chess, cagey and games where a moment of magic or a costly mistake will occur, but not today. Just 2 minutes in, the experienced striker Mbaye Leye opened the scoring and made the perfect start for the visitors, however, they seemed to be the wake up call Les Mauves needed. Twenty minutes later, centre back Kara Mbodji setup Sofiane Hanni to make it 1–1 before the Algerian created a goal himself for Massimo Bruno to seal the turnaround just before the break.
With Zulte needing to do something, Francky Dury introduced Babacar Gueye but by time he could make his mark on the match, it was basically over as Youri Tielemans scored a minute into the second half. But even then nothing was assured as Mbaye Leye pulled a goal back from the spot with 37 minutes still to play!
With Anderlecht dominating the chances throughout, they finally sealed the win in the 92nd minute where, again, Tielemans went from scorer to provider for Alexandru Chipciu. A thoroughly enjoyable game throughout which may have turned the Pro League into a 2 horse race!
With that said, it was the turn of leaders Club Brugge to react to the earlier result and remake that three point gap they started the day with as they travelled to Lokeren, who managed to get a deserved point against Anderlecht in their last home game.
However, things didn’t go as planned for the champions in a game they dominated in nearly every aspect, with former front man Tom de Sutter scoring just before the half hour to be the killer blow and made sure the 3 points stayed at the Daknam Stadion.
With Brugge travelling to Westerlo on Friday night, they really have to put these poor away performances behind them to keep pace with joint leaders Anderlecht who have a tricky fixture against Oostende away.
The final match of round 26 was at the Freethiel where Beveren welcomed Standard Liege. After Eupen showed great character yesterday, Beveren weren’t desperate for a win, but knew 3 points would’ve basically secured their stay in Belgium’s top flight for another season.
Their cause wasn’t helped as recent loan signing Ibrahima Conte received 2 yellow cards in the first half. With Waasland-Beveren having to hold out for 55 minutes with 10 men, their resistance wouldn’t last long at all, as Liege striker Orlando Sa netted ten minutes into the second half and wrapped up the three points. Standard hadn’t won in the league in 7 matches, so they’ll be thankful that run ended through Sa grabbing his 12th league goal of the season.