Sunday 1 May 2022 20:30

Anderlecht and Club Brugge share the spoils following scoreless draw

Club Brugge travelled to the capital on matchday 2 of the Champions' Play-Offs. Both sides showed a lot of fighting spirit, but were unable to beat the opposing goalkeeper. The gap with leaders Union stays three points for the blue and black.

After the important win against Antwerp on the opening fixture of the Champions' play-offs, coach Alfred Schreuder was satisfied with his team's mentality. Consequently, he retained confidence in the same starting line-up for the top match against Anderlecht.

Kompany did make some changes for the home side: Gómez came back into the team and the absence of Refaelov and Verschaeren was remarkable. Both players were deemed not fit and were replaced by Arnstad and Amuzu.

Coach Schreuder koos voor dezelfde basiself als tegen Antwerp.
Coach Schreuder koos voor dezelfde basiself als tegen Antwerp.

It were the blue and black who grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. That resulted in a good opportunity for De Ketelaere. Skov Olsen whipped in a good cross in front of goal, but De Ketelaere was clearly pushed in the back and headed the ball over goal. Ref Verboomen and VAR thought it was too little for a penalty kick. Moments later, Lang was sent through on goal, but Van Crombrugge kept his effort out with a good reflex save. Halfway the first half Odoi tried it from distance, but the ball flew wide.

Noa Lang kreeg de beste kans niet voorbij Van Crombrugge.
Noa Lang kreeg de beste kans niet voorbij Van Crombrugge.

Anderlecht restored the balance after Club's dominant first twenty minutes and moved towards Mignolet's goal. Amuzu skied his finish from the edge of the area and Zirkzee scuffed his finish wide on a pass by Kouamé.

After this brief flare-up, there was a lot of midfield play, but few chances. Shortly before half time there was a moment for the home side: Arnstad aimed the ball towards the corner from just outside the penalty area, but Mignolet tipped it away. On the stroke of half-time, Club's No.1 showed his skills again, keeping Hoedt's long-range effort - from his own half - out of his net. 0-0 at the break.

Two changes for the home side at the start of the second half: Magallán and Zirkzee stayed in the dressing room, Delcroix and Raman entered the fray. The latter immediately cut through Club's defence, but his attempt was tipped over the crossbar by Mignolet.

Anderlecht upped the pressure on Club in the opening phase of the second half, but Club got through it without a scratch: Kouamé tried it acrobatically but his attempt went wide and Amuzu blasted the ball high over the crossbar.

Almost out of nowhere, Club responded with an effort from Mata. His left-footed strike unfortunately hit the post. Bad luck for Club and a bit later Anderlecht reacted after a wrong pass from Nsoki. Raman was able to get hold of the ball, but his shot was well blocked by Mechele and the rebound ended up in Mignolet's hands.

There were no more huge opportunities, apart from Buchanan's cross hitting the bar. El Hadj, for Anderlecht, and Adamyan, for Club, saw an effort inside the penalty area blocked by an opposing defender in the closing minutes of the match.

Mata knalde met links tegen de paal.
Mata knalde met links tegen de paal.

Without any major goal threat on both sides, the top game between Anderlecht and Club was heading for a scoreless draw. There was a lot of battle and midfield play, but no goals were scored at the Lotto Park. This way, Club stays 3 points behind leader Union.


Champions’ play-offs – Matchday 2
 21.500 – Lotto Park
Referee: Nathan Verboomen
RSC Anderlecht: Hendrik Van Crombrugge (c) – Michael Murillo, Lisandro Magallán (46’ Hannes Delcroix), Wesley Hoedt, Sergio Gómez – Kristian Arnstad (86’ Lior Refaelov), Marco Kana, Josh Cullen, Francis Amuzu (66’ Anouar Ait El Hadj) – Christian Kouamé, Joshua Zirkzee (46’ Benito Raman).
Bank: Bart Verbruggen, Rik Vercauteren, Hannes Delcroix, Bogdan Mykhaylichenko, Kristoffer Olsson, Théo Leoni, Lior Refaelov, Anouar Ait El Hadj, Benito Raman, Mario Stroeykens.
Coach: Vincent Kompany.

Club Brugge: Simon Mignolet – Clinton Mata, Brandon Mechele, Stanley Nsoki (84’ Jack Hendry) – Andreas Skov Olsen, Denis Odoi (66’ Éder Balanta), Mats Rits (27’ Ruud Vormer), Hans Vanaken (c), Tajon Buchanan (84’ Eduard Sobol) – Noa Lang, Charles De Ketelaere (66’ Sargis Adamyan). 
Bank: Senne Lammens, Nick Shinton, Eduard Sobol, Jack Hendry, Abakar Sylla, Éder Balanta, Ruud Vormer, Sargis Adamyan, Bas Dost, Antonio Nusa.
Coach: Alfred Schreuder.

Yellow cards: Magallán, Nsoki, Balanta, Kouamé
Red cards: none
Goals: none

Report - Tom Mannens

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