Sorry for not particularly writing much in recent days, if anybody does read this, due to being away and illness. With that said, and you may not have missed my posts as much, the Pro League this weekend was something that shouldn’t have been missed! With an average of 3 goals a game in each fixture, that must’ve shown as there were 6 victors along the way too.
We’ll start at the beginning, funnily enough, as leaders Club Brugge had the opportunity to put pressure on those around them and get an early three points. Originally, that plan wasn’t coming together as strugglers Westerlo took an early lead, and I brought this up the other week regarding Silvère Ganvoula M’Boussy where an Anderlecht loanee could make things difficult for the other challengers. His goal making it 1-0. After that it was basically one way traffic as the goal sparked the champions back into life. It did take until the last 20 minutes for Brugge’s breakthrough via an own goal by Nemanja Miletic who half blocked a Hans Vanaken as it looped over his goalkeeper. Then Vanaken stole the show with a fine volley in the final 10 minutes to seal the vital win.
In my opinion, Brugge haven’t looked all that in recent matches but have scraped victories in matches they should be winning more comfortably. I guess you could say that’s a sign of title challengers but goals coming from more than one source is a huge bonus.
The first match on Saturday included Mechelen and Lokeren where Mechelen have shown some decent form recently against a patchy Lokeren. The scoreline looked a formality with Mechelen winning 3-0 with goals from Verdier, Kolovos and Osaguona. Not much more to say except Kolovos was subbed 6 minutes after his goal and replaced by Glenn Claes, who only lasted an half an hour before then being subbed, and Osaguona made a huge impact scoring the same minute he came on. Three fantastic goals and all different too which should please Yannick Ferrera.
Next up, Eupen’s week got so much better as again they snuck a 1-0 win at home this time against Kortrijk. Moussa Wague was this weeks hero, helping shut out 2 of the leagues current prolific striker’s, keeping a clean sheet and netting the winner 10 minutes from time. Kortrijk showed their lack of discipline too as Anthony Van Loo picked up 2 yellow cards in the second half as well. After ending January and starting February well, Kortrijk’s form has gone back on the slide. With the result, Eupen have all but secured their status for yet another season.
And talking of securing their league status, that’s basically what Beveren have done and in the best way as they’ve possibly condemned Mouscron to relegation. The match started better for the hosts as Kabasele scored midway through the first half. However, French defender Rudy Camacho struck a reply for the visitors with a penalty right on half time.
All in all, it was very even throughout and I guess a draw would’ve been fair, but that wasn’t to be as Beveren struck the killer blow through their No. 10 Steeven Langil in the last ten minutes to again, seal their Pro League status. Mouscron look all but down with a tough run in and Westerlo being their only realistic rival for the drop.
I say only realistic because thanks to Beveren and Eupen’s recent form, St Truiden have made themselves available for relegation and mathematically, can still go down. Losing 4-1 away at Zulte-Waregem doesn’t help either, although after the 1st forty five minutes things looked good, with a Steven De Petter strike after the half hour.
That was the only plus, as the capitulation began, with Zulte scoring 4 goals in a 30 minute spell. Goals from Lerager, Gueye, Leye and Kaya dismantled De Kanaries who have slept walked, maybe not into relegation, but certainly down the table. Zulte on the other hand reacted in the right way after a courageous display against Anderlecht last time out.
Going into Sunday, the three impressive Europa League teams played, starting with Gent away at Standard Liege, and the hosts took the lead with an Orlando SA strike a minute before half time. But Gent’s response was swift as they equalised 6 minutes into the second half through Serbian defender Stefan Mitrovic. That point didn’t do much for each side, and the same could be said for the last match of the weekend as Genk and Charleroi met in another 1-1 draw. Both matches very well contested and similar as the home side in both took the lead and the visitors pegged back the hosts both times with a quick response. Trossard with a penalty for Genk and Marinos for Charleroi ended the affair.
The meat in this sandwich on Sunday included 4th vs 2nd as Oostende played Anderlecht. Les Mauves didn’t need too long to settle down as Sofiane Hanni continued his good recent league form with a second minute finish. Nany Dimata hit back from the penalty spot as it was 1-1 leading into half time. Then the cavalry came in the form of Youri Tielemans who made himself the hero, scoring 2 goals in 2 minutes.
The youngster really stepping up in recent weeks and proving to be the leader we know he can be. Lukasz Teodorczyk put the icing on the cake with a stoppage time goal, increasing his season tally and really flexing the muscles from the boys from Brussels.
This round of matches has shown that it’s a 2 horse race really at both ends of the table, with one team hanging around like a bad smell, and that the congestion in the middle is still proving to be entertaining, as teams are still fighting to get into the championship play off, or stay out of it depending on how you look at it (Standard Liege).
Til next time