Club crush Antwerp 5-1
Club Brugge have won the top game against Antwerp 5-1. Dennis and Schrijvers gave the blue and black a 2-0 lead at half-time, while Rits and again Dennis took away all doubt in the second half. Van Damme pulled one back for the visitors in the closing minutes, but Hans Vanaken put the cherry on the cake with a late spot kick.
Ivan Leko was forced to make two changes due to the suspensions of Stefano Denswil and Ruud Vormer. Benoît Poulain, back from a one-match ban, reclaimed his starting position in defence while Mitrović replaced Denswil on the left-hand side. Siebe Schrijvers teamed up with Wesley in attack.
Club grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and immediately created some danger. Wesley's strike sailed over the target while Dennis mistimed to connect with Mata's cross.
Ten minutes into the game Club created a first real-cut chance when Rits latched onto Vanaken's through ball, but the midfielder found Bolat on his way.
Halfway the first half Club had their well-deserved opening goal when Emmanuel Dennis cut inside from the left-hand side and saw his cross fly into the far corner: 1-0!
Being 1-0 down, Antwerp now had to play more offensive but Club defended better. Without creating many chances Club doubled their lead surprisingly five minutes before the end when Wesley found Siebe Schrijvers with a brilliant pass. Schrijvers didn't wait for the bounce and lobbed Bolat with a subtle touch. What a goal!
After the break the visitors almost created a first chance when Refaelov played the ball into the patch of Mbokani, but the forward's touch was too strong so Horvath could collect the ball easily.
While Antwerp were thinking of clawing themselves back into the game, Mats Rits decided the game with a third goal for the hosts ten minutes into the second half. Wesley turned inside the box and fired at goal to see Bolat parry away, but Rits pounced onto the loose ball to stab home from close range: 3-0!
Club were sitting comfortably in the driving seat when Emmanuel Dennis headed in his second of the afternoon on Vanaken's free-kick. The midfielder could have scored himself a few minutes later when Rits played him through on goal, but Vanaken struck the outside of the post after he had rounded Bolat.
On the other side of the pitch Haroun fired against the post as well, and then blasted the rebound high and wide over Horvath's goal.
The game was played, but the visitors pulled one back late into the game when Jelle Van Damme headed in at the far post on a free-kick. But one minute later Mata darted inside the box after a great run and was brought down by Lamkel Zé. Referee Smet pointed to the spot and Hans Vanaken slotted home confidentely: 5-1.
Thanks to this victory Club Brugge are now alone in second place. On Thursday the blue and black travel to Lokeren who are bottom of the league.
Jupiler Pro League – Fixture 20
Attendance: 27.000 – Jan Breydelstadion
Referee: Wim Smet
Club Brugge: Ethan Horvath – Benoît Poulain, Brandon Mechele, Matej Mitrović – Clinton Mata, Mats Rits, Marvelous Nakamba, Hans Vanaken, Emmanuel Dennis (67’ Dion Cools) – Siebe Schrijvers (69’ Sofyan Amrabat), Wesley Moraes (78’ Loïs Openda). Bench: Karlo Letica, Luan Peres, Cyril Ngonge en Brandon Baiye. Coach: Ivan Leko.
Antwerp: Sinan Bolat – Dylan Batubinsika, Jelle Van Damme, Matheus Borges - Sambou Yatabaré, Egor Nazarina (58’ Didier Lamkel Zé), Faris Haroun, Lior Refaelov (66’ Jonathan Bolingi), Simen Juklerød (71’ Ivo Rodrigues) – William Owusu, Dieumerci Mbokani. Coach: Laszlo Bölöni.
Yellow cards: Refaelov, Van Damme, Rodrigues, Bolingi, Amrabat, Mbokani.
Red cards: none
Goals: 21’ Dennis (1-0), 39’ Schrijvers (2-0), 54’ Rits (3-0), 65’ Dennis (4-0), 84’ Van Damme (4-1), 87’ Vanaken (penalty, 5-1).
Report - Steven Floin