GAMES Anderlecht took the first place in the ranking yesterday. After the draw of Oostende against Gent, the Mauves needed a victory to advance to the first place. And that victory was realised yesterday by beating Bruges with a 3-1 score.
Anderlecht took a furious start yesterday and over-classed Bruges during the first 15 minutes of the game. Okaka had the first chance, but his shot was saved by Bruzzese. Not much later, goalkeeper Bruzzese stopped a good header of Kara. But after 12 minutes he was eventually beaten: Praet reached Obradovic with a pass through the legs of Meunier. Obradovic centred and Okaka pushed the ball against the net: 1-0.
After the opening goal, the pace dropped and Bruges restored the balance in the match. But the visitors were not really dangerous, despite three smaller chances.
The second half started well for the Mauves. Just one minute after kick-off, Praet was sent deep. His centre reached Ezekiel who headed the 2-0 on the scoreboard. The visitors were now mentally broken and Anderlecht kept looking for more goals. Okaka came close to his second goal of the evening, but his hard shot hit the crossbar. Before reaching the 60th minute, the 3-0 was put on the scoreboard anyway: Praet dribbled into the box and beautifully placed the ball in the upper left corner of the goal: 3-0!
Ten minutes later, Bruges reacted: Diaby could benefit from a rare mistake in the Anderlecht defence. The striker found some space between Proto and the post and scored: 3-1.
From then on, Anderlecht focussed on keeping the lead. Bruges attacked, had a few chances, but was unable to score. Meanwhile, the game also became a lot harder with several disputable phases, hard tackles and disputes between players. Referee Delferière kept swinging with the yellow cards, but did not sent anyone off the field with red (though Gedoz deserved the red card in stoppage time).