The red mist descended this week on the Jupiler Pro League – last week’s goal rush was replaced by some petty red cards – six in total. Club Brugge were looking for another win over a promoted side, whilst Standard, Anderlecht and Genk were searching for first wins. How did they do?
Last time these two played, there was some skirmishes in the snow. This time both were scrapping for some much needed points after poor starts to the season. It was a quick return for former Lierse goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima now minding the sticks for Standard. Cofie Bekoe was certainly up for the fight, first elbowing Sebastien Pocognoli in the face drawing blood before lunging in on Jelle Van Damme. Red card and the red mist from Les Rouches towards the overeager Ghanaian. Yet despite facing 10 men for over 60 minutes, Standard couldn’t find a way through and it was the same story as last week’s wasteful display. Work to do for Jans.
The elder statesmen against the young pretender, as Georges Leekens took his Club Brugge team to Yannick Ferrara’s Charleroi. A disappointing crowd for their first home game back in the big time. The Blauw-Zwart took the lead on 19 minutes, after Charleroi failed to deal with an attack. It fell to Thomas Meunier on the edge of the area, finding a gap in the onrushing defence, leaving Parfait Mandanda (brother of Steve). A setback soon after as Victor Vazquez’s confrontation with Ederson saw him ejected from the field. Les Zebres gave it a good go, with Herve Kage and Viktor Bopp playing well, but couldn’t find an equaliser with Club Brugge holding firm. Two wins from two for them against the promoted teams.
Two clubs with super opening days met at Daknam. Lokeren withstood some early Mons pressure to take the lead, that man Benjamin De Ceulaer skipping round defenders and the keeper to score another great goal. It looked like their luck would hold until half time, but then Benjamin Nicaise, a danger last week from set-pieces struck just before half time. Perhaps Jugoslav Lazic could have done better with it. Enzo Scifo’s half-time talk changed and likely inspired Les Dragons, who scored directly after the break too as Mustapha Jarju profited from a quick break . An end-to-end game looked to be going their way, before De Ceulaer popped up with his second to salvage a point for Peter Maes’s side.
As talk off the field of Matias Suarez’s aborted transfer to Russia overshadowing matters on the field, John Van den Brom secured his first league win as Anderlecht boss, with a routine win over Adrie Koster’s Beerschot. A mid-week rout of Ekranas saw Anderlecht play some of their best football, and they were hoping to replicate it here. It was a pretty low-key fixture in truth, with Anderlecht taking the lead in the first half. Milan Jovanovic linking up well with Kanu, lifting the ball above the Beerschot defence, which the Brazilian finished expertly. Fleeting chances for both sides there after, with Dieumerci Mbokani heading against the bar from a yard out. A soft penalty was given at the end, which Guillaume Gillet struck against the post. No nonsense stuff and a win.
Elsewhere, Kortrijk are still unbeaten, sneaking a 2-1 win away at the Jan Breydel against Cercle. Captain Anthony Portier’s header was cancelled out by Ernest Nfor and Thomas Matton. De Mets was given a straight red late on. Waasland-Beveren began their Jupiler Pro League home run with a 0-0 draw against Mechelen. Harm Van Veldhoven’s men were the better team but couldn’t finish their opponents off.
Sunday’s action saw Zulte-Waregem host Gent, hot off the heels of a win at Sclessin. They were at it again, leading after 9 minutes – Dolly Menga’s good cross kneed in by Aleksandar Trajkovski. Then Franck Berrier dazzled. His goal on a counter-attack, rounding Sergio Padt just before half-time gave the home side belief after a late Gent siege in the half. After half time, Berrier scored a wonderful second and Essevee’s third to seal the win. Jordan Remacle converted from the spot but Gent were out of it, losing Mamatou N’Diaye andCesar Arzo to red cards. Yet more of them. A great win for Francky Dury against his former side.
The other game on Sunday saw Mario Been’s Genk travel to OHL, both side looking to gain some much-needed points. Racing didn’t get off to the best of starts, Khaleem Hyland given a straight red for studs up, but it didn’t harm them too much. Christian Benteke got another for his season tally, and Buffel doubled Genk’s lead on 70 minutes. Yet Leuven made their man advantage count at the best time, Stefan Gíslason halved the deficit before Ibou scored seven minutes from time. Thomas Azevedo looked excellent for them too. Both still looking for their first win this season.