Anderlecht wins with smallest difference

TUESDAY, 2 APRIL 2024, 09:33 - emjomi
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GAMES Anderlecht started the Champions playoffs well. They won 1-0 against Antwerp, although tomorrow they can bring a big basket of chocolate eggs to Wijndal, who got a red card shortly before half-time. Indeed, in that first half Anderlecht struggled, but after halftime they did create chances against a man less. Sardella pushed a cross into goal and could have scored a few more times after that as well. Antwerp had a big chance through Balikwisha after halftime, but otherwise Purple and White had no problems with the champion.

An energetic start from both clubs without resulting in chances. Dolberg could almost reach a cross from Sardella after 5 minutes. Anderlecht left Antwerp in possession of the ball and the visitors, who were purer in passing, threatened for the first time around the quarter-hour mark. Janssen kicked a meter wide on the half hour.

Antwerp kept Anderlecht in check and Purple-White barely found a solution on the soccer. In minute 38, Rits was given plenty of time and space to kick, but the ball flew over. Moments later, a minor altercation occurred between Wijndal and Hazard. The Dutchman had a small reaction to it, which was nevertheless enough for Vergoote to draw red.

In extra time, the newly incoming De Laet kicked over the ball, but again Anderlecht could not take advantage. Anderlecht played a difficult first 45 minutes, although it was watchful to see if the home team could turn the tide against a man down. Van Bommel changed two players at halftime and had no intention of throwing in the towel just yet.

Anderlecht started well after halftime. Five minutes after the break, Hazard took just a little too much time and Dryer kicked hard at goal. In the next phase, Sardella was able to score his first goal for Anderlecht by pushing a cross into goal. Still, the lookout remained. Antwerp broke out, but Balikwisha decided the big chance weakly on Schmeichel. Anderlecht also had a big chance. Dreyer aimed just wide, although Van Den Bosch still blocked the ball.

Just after the hour, a siege of Butez' goal ensued. Dryer, Augustinsson and Hazard (twice) were all allowed to try. Hazard did get very close, but Alderweireld saved on the line. Antwerp waited for Anderlecht and counted on another breakout or stoppage time. In minute 73, Amuzu celebrated his return since Dec. 10, replacing Stroeykens. Delaney came on to relieve Rits. Antwerp had recovered somewhat and Anderlecht had had to release the great pressure in the meantime even though they did create some threat from time to time.

In minute 83, Van Den Bosch fouled. Amuzu was free in front of goal, but Butez intervened. Vergoote pointed to the spot for a mistake by the goalkeeper, but the phase was revoked by VAR for offside by Dreyer. Moreover, Butez also appeared to play the ball. Hazard headed past Butez in minute 88, but Van Den Bosch processed in corner. Alderweireld pulled ahead as he often did in the closing stages, but Anderlecht kept up good pressure. In the added time, Dreyer was sent alone on goal, but Butez stopped the 2-0.

Thus Anderlecht got off to an excellent start, although it played a very difficult first half. It now puts Antwerp on nine points and comes to "equal" with Union (which still has half a point more by halving points).

Score: 1-0
Goal(s):1-0 Sardella 51'

Anderlecht:Schmeichel, Sardella, Debast, Vertonghen, Augustinsson, Rits (Delaney 73'), Leoni, Stroeykens (Amuzu 73'), Dreyer, Dolberg (Vazquez 80'), Hazard (Ashimeru 90'+2)
Antwerp:Butez, Wijndal, Alderweireld, Van Den Bosch, Bataille, Yussuf, Ejuke (Coulibaly 46'), Ekkelenkamp (Kerk 80'), Ondrejka (Balikwisha 46'), Janssen (De Laet 45'), Ilenikhena (Udoh 80')

Yellow: Janssen 18', Ondrejka 37', Hazard 73', Delaney 77', Ekkelenkamp 78', Alderweireld 90'+3
Red: Wijndal 42'

Referee: Jasper Vergoote
Stadium: Lotto Park

Source: © Internal source

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