Anderlecht can prepare for the title final against Club Brugge

Anderlecht can prepare for the title final against Club Brugge
Anderlecht can prepare for the title final against Club Brugge

As in the big days, the Astrid Park was swirling on Saturday evening. Against Racing Genk, Anderlecht retained its undefeated status at home, despite a shaky final fifteen minutes. The Purple & White thus puts itself in pole position again in the title battle. The people of Brussels always win that title if they score 6 out of 6 in the remaining two matches, but there are storylines that could even lead to a party next Sunday after the mutual match against Club Brugge. In any case, Anderlecht has everything in its own hands.

The victory gives Anderlecht the luxury of watching Club Brugge-Union in a relaxed manner on Monday evening. The most important thing for the Purple & White is that Club Brugge does not beat Union. Then the people of Bruges will never be able to play champions next week when they visit the Lotto Park. “As far as I’m concerned, it should be a draw between Club Brugge and Union,” Brian Riemer was honest. “That is the best result for us. I’m curious to see how they will perform, while I watch from the couch.”

The people of Brussels once again exuded confidence, although the game was again not sparkling in the 2-1 win against Genk. The Purple & White could especially benefit from some brilliant whims. Kasper Dolberg only touched the ball 23 times in the entire match, but one great touch made it 2–0. Just before half-time, Yari Verschaeren – surprise from chef Riemer in the starting line-up – had made even more jaws drop at the 1–0. He hit the ball à la Dennis Bergkamp and stroked the ball right into the square.

Dolberg also excelled for the Purple & White with a great goal. — © Isosport

The 22-year-old playmaker has already played 173 matches for Anderlecht, but this goal could be very special. It was also Verschaeren’s first goal of the season after weeks of injuries. “I am so happy for Yari,” continued Riemer. “He gave up after the cruciate ligament injury and his hamstring injury. We knew he could only participate for 45 minutes and then he does this. We need magical moments like that.”

280 international experience

It’s the strength of this team. Genk had more expected goals, but the home team once again seized its moments. Anderlecht sometimes puts a lot of pressure, but remains mainly an assassin. It is striking how many important goals their own youth products have already scored in these Champions’ Play-offs: Killian Sardella against Antwerp, Francis Amuzu against Union, Theo Leoni (2x) against Cercle, now Verschaeren against Genk. Own childhood first.

Although experienced guides are also important. Kasper Schmeichel again proved to be the best playmaker, Gattoni – the replacement for the injured Jan Vertonghen – fed Genk striker Tolu and Thomas Delaney implemented power in midfield. Only when Genk had scored the 2-1 out of nowhere did panic set in. But purple and white can also suffer. They held out for fifteen minutes. “We must not lose that control,” Riemer grumbled.

Coach Brian Riemer celebrates with the fans.

Coach Brian Riemer celebrates with the fans. — © BELGA

Whatever happens: next Sunday it will be a final against Club Brugge – the two Belgian superpowers against each other in full title battle. For the Purple & White, it will again be the self-trained Neerpede boys who will have to do it. Jan Vertonghen, Thorgan Hazard and Majeed Ashimeru are out and Thomas Delaney is yellow suspended. That is a combined 280 international matches of experience that Anderlecht will miss. “We will have to do the job with other players,” Riemer said. “We have some time to come up with a plan.”

The logical solution is a midfield with Rits, Leoni and Verschaeren/Stroeykens against blue-black. The question is whether you can physically survive against Vanaken and co. The Neerpede-ketjes are allowed to rub their calves, because there are no longer many alternatives. The audience would cheer with joy if the beloved youngsters would just finish it and take that 35th title.

Anderlecht will become champions next week if…

– It itself wins against Club Brugge, Club-Union ends in a draw on Monday and Union does not win against Cercle next week

– It itself wins against Club Brugge, Union wins against Club Brugge on Monday and Union loses against Cercle next week

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Anderlecht prepare title final Club Brugge


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