Qualified and yet not a party night: sputtering Club Brugge demolishes Swiss wall, but still has a lot of work to do

Qualified and yet not a party night: sputtering Club Brugge demolishes Swiss wall, but still has a lot of work to do
Qualified and yet not a party night: sputtering Club Brugge demolishes Swiss wall, but still has a lot of work to do

Ronny Deila had asked his players to enjoy themselves, “because then the rest will follow automatically”, but it was just the opposite. It didn’t seem like anything before the break. Club clearly lacked confidence and fun – the simplest things went wrong – and then it was cold, wet and against an opponent who above all did not want to play football.

Jan Breydel cannot and does not want to reconcile himself with such achievements. Before the half hour mark there was booing and whistling. Club was terrible at Union, and admittedly it’s difficult to compare, but it didn’t seem much better now.

Nevertheless, Club was the most threatening team, which said something about the intentions and limited qualities of Lugano, number six in the not so highly regarded Swiss Super League for nothing. Philip Zinckernagel had the best chance just before half time. He was allowed to shoot freely from the box, but his shot lacked conviction, allowing the Swiss goalie to avoid a deficit. Furthermore, there were no real opportunities to play out.

We have seen quite a few Conference League matches in recent seasons, and admittedly, they were not always high quality. However, we cannot avoid the impression that this confrontation was not representative of the level of the third European competition. We don’t want much, it’s just a Conference League, but it can be something.

There was no initiative, it was terribly slow, it was too impure. It all looked so tame too. It is dangerous to question the players’ desire, but this Club just couldn’t get into fifth gear.

Without wanting to sound (too) cynical: we were happy that it was quiet. Things could only get better afterwards, right?

Two penalties, one goal

It did that effectively: what a little bit of fire cannot do. Club came out of the dressing room sharper, without showing great form, but Lugano was pushed back even more than before.

Around the hour mark, the home team was rewarded for that decisiveness. Buchanan started a run, went at speed into the large rectangle and got a push there. The referee from Hungary pointed decisively to the spot: penalty.

You have to hand it to Igor Thiago: he showed a sense of responsibility. The Brazilian has had difficult weeks, he was not doing well against Lugano either. It would have been easier to leave the penalty to, say, Vanaken, but Thiago himself got behind the ball. With his goal he caused a sigh of relief: 1-0.

Club was gradually able to claim more than one goal: a lob from Jutglà deserved better, a bet from Thiago was turned away from the line. Lugano brought nothing. It is a mystery to us why Amoura (Union) was benched for this team.

No matter how bad Lugano was, there will always be an opportunity. Ordonez and Mignolet, however, stood firm. We don’t want to pretend that Ordonez will suddenly solve all defensive problems, but he was at the appointment. The nineteen-year-old Ecuadorian was aggressive in the duels and seems to have more than solid feet.

Club failed to finish it. Jutglà kicked wide from eleven meters. The Spaniard just wanted to gain confidence and claimed the ball, much against the wishes of some teammates, but missed. Painful.

The fourth ref gave eight minutes of extra time. It really wasn’t necessary for us and the spectators at Olympia. With a deflected free kick to make it 2-0, Vanaken ensured that the fans could go home before the final whistle.

If you have a really bad headache, one Dafalgan is not enough. Well, blue-black did not suddenly recover after the 2-0 win.


And now the derby

We can now be critical of what Club delivered, but the balance in Europe is impressive. After four matchdays, Club is already assured of European football after New Year’s. You just have to do it anyway.

It would be going too far to say that there was much cause for celebration. Ok, the qualification is a fact, but in terms of pure football the bar can definitely be raised higher. Club can do it: at the beginning of the season it was occasionally sparkling. The contrast with today’s Club is night and day.

Cercle is really not afraid of this big brother – at least in terms of history, not in terms of standings.

To conclude on a positive note: congratulations on the wintering, Club!

Tags: Qualified party night sputtering Club Brugge demolishes Swiss wall lot work


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