With Somers, Lopes, Ravych and Van der Bruggen, Cercle Brugge had to miss four strong players for the clash with Anderlecht. The Purple & White team was only missing the slightly injured Leoni, so Delaney made his return to the Purple & White starting line-up just six weeks after his collarbone fracture.
The Dane had an excellent opportunity to celebrate his comeback with a goal after just ten minutes, but decided to cross from close range. Halfway through the first half, Warleson had to stretch on Hazard’s shot, while Schmeichel was tested by Denkey on the other side. Immediately Cercle’s only real threat in the first half.
With half time in sight, Anderlecht struck mercilessly with two goals in three minutes. Hazard first aimed a shot at the post, but was responsible for the 0-1 a few minutes later. On Dreyer’s instructions, Dolberg defeated Warleson from close range.
Just 2 minutes and 40 seconds later, Dolberg and Dreyer reversed roles. Dreyer once again demonstrated his excellent technique and aimed the ball into the far corner: 0-2. Edged offside, but the VAR saw no problem with it.
At Anderlecht they could not have dreamed a better scenario, at Cercle they could not hide the absence of four strong players. Even after half-time, the home team failed to make the Purple & White nervous.
On the contrary, on the hour mark the home team had to take another blow. Daland misjudged a deep ball to Dreyer and, after Dolberg, he also set Stroeykens on his way to a goal. 0-3 and match played.
De Wilde and Denkey came close to scoring for Cercle, but Schmeichel kept a clean sheet. A nice birthday present for the 37-year-old Dane.