GAMES A narrow 2-1 victory against Eupen keeps Anderlecht in the top six after match day 23. For a while it looked dull, but under the impulse of substitute Peter Zulj and 17-year-old Yari Verschaeren, Anderlecht turned a loss into a victory.
Anderlecht, with Lawrence and Verschaeren at the kick-off, started furiously with shots from Kums and Saelemaekers. No problem for Van Crombrugge. Eupen limited himself to defending. Anderlecht kept claiming the ball, but this did not lead to big chances. Youngster Verschaeren was positive, as with his debut on STVV.
Eupen defender Gnaka was allowed to advance slightly after half an hour. The Ivorian found Fall and he passed the bal past Didillon: 0-1. A cold shower for the whole of Anderlecht. It would not happen again? When a moment later Didillon made a mistake, everyone held his heart. Fortunately, Toyakawa left to give Anderlecht the death blow. Anderlecht tried to respond before half-time, but Verschaeren found Van Crombrugge on his way.
After the break, Rutten brought newcomer Zulj for a pale Bakkali. Already after seven minutes the Austrian gave off his business card. He served Verschaeren and the score was equal. Zulj later tried it himself, but his shot missed goal. Najar and Kara also failed to put Anderlecht ahead. That did happen when a blocked shot from Verschaeren ended up at Santini via Obradovic: 2-1. Even though Obradovic might have been. However, the VAR did not get intervene.
After the 2-1, the Anderlecht storm went down. Zulj enjoyed the Anderlecht supporters with a heel, an assist on Doku (who missed) and a shot. Goals were no longer there. Rutten booked his first win as Anderlecht coach and keeps the Purple & White in the top six. Next week the always heavy away match against Standard will be waiting.
Goal(s): 31 'Fall (0-1), 51' Verschaeren (1-1), 65 'Santini (2-1)
Anderlecht: Didillon, Najar, Kara, Lawrence, Obradovic, Kums, Kayembe, Verschaeren (84 'Saief), Saelemaekers (73' Doku), Santini, Bakkali (46 'Zulj)
Eupen: Van Crombrugge, Castro Montes, Bushiri, Blondelle, Gnaka (86 'Essende), Marreh, Garcia, Fall, Milicevic (67' Pollet), Keita, Toyakawa (79 'Msakni)
Yellow: 41 'Saelemaekers, 79' Castro-Montes
Referee: Alexandre Boucaut
Stadium: Constant Vanden Stock stadium