Weak Anderlecht defeated by Bruges

MONDAY, 8 APRIL 2024, 00:18 - Skyhawk
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GAMES Anderlecht's performance in Bruges was disappointing, to say the least. From the early stages of the game, they found themselves trailing after Mechele's quick goal, leaving them chasing the game for the rest of the match. Despite having opportunities, Anderlecht's play lacked cohesion and dynamism.

Anderlecht couldn't have started much worse. Mechele headed in a corner just two minutes into the game, catching his marker Dolberg off guard. Interestingly, it was the first goal Anderlecht conceded from a corner kick (or free kick).

Brugge began eagerly, with Anderlecht (featuring Leoni as a defensive midfielder) constantly arriving late. In the 9th minute, Schmeichel made a timely save on a shot from Skoras. After 23 minutes, Hazard had Anderlecht's first shot on target. Club remained dangerous and outperformed Anderlecht. After 25 minutes, Debast intervened well in a chance for Meijer. Meanwhile, Hazard received his second yellow card in the Champions play-offs.

Just after striking hard at goal, Debast made an error, allowing Thiago a big chance for 2-0, but the Brazilian hesitated. Substituted Jutgla made a good run but failed to find a teammate. In the 44th minute, Dreyer couldn't capitalize on a poor pass from Jutgla, but the Dane hadn't noticed Hazard. Just before half-time, Jutgla headed centrally on target. As in the regular season, Anderlecht went into half-time trailing 1-0, but they were the better team then.

Anderlecht started the second half with even sloppier play and struggled to create chances. Club had a big chance just before the hour mark. Thiago made a good run but placed his shot wide. Soon after, Club took control. Just after the hour, Onyedika had enough time centrally and finished excellently. The ball landed low in the far corner.

Riemer brought on Amuzu and Ashimeru for Delaney and Stroeykens. In the 70th minute, Anderlecht finally combined. Dolberg attempted an overhead kick that sailed a meter over the goal. Amuzu had Anderlecht's best chance in the 73rd minute after a through ball from Dolberg, but Jackers came out well.

Brugge threatened through Jutgla and substitute Zinckernagel, but it was Onyedika who made it 3-0. Once again, the midfielder had plenty of space and neatly placed the ball past Schmeichel. Just after the 3-0, Dreyer headed centrally to make it 3-1, also with plenty of space. Jackers prevented a tense finale when he kept out an attempt from Vazquez. Schmeichel saved Jutgla's 4-1 in the last minute, and Dreyer narrowly missed.

A deserved defeat for Anderlecht, which was completely off its game. Was it affected by Union's loss? Or did it think it would easily win again in Bruges after its league victory? Why did Delaney have to play when he hadn't made much of an impression since his injury? Losing in the Champions play-offs can happen, but Anderlecht urgently needs to raise its level to become champion. The game against Union will be crucial, as dropping points could allow Genk or Brugge to reduce their deficit once again.

Source: © Internal source

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