Anderlecht had little trouble with putting the visiting Westerlo aside 3-1. Two goals by Turkish striker Serhat Akin in the second half secured the victory. Anderlecht can now focus on its UEFA Cup encounter with Aalborg.
Vercauteren had to make due without goalscorer Nicolas Frutos. The Argentinian striker sat out a one-match suspension. Serhat Akin returned to fitness to replace him. At the same time Hassan came back from suspension.
Right from the start, Anderlecht tried to put the pressure on the visitors’ defense. This quickly resulted in a handful of shots but none proved to be a serious threat for Westerlo goalkeeper De Winter. Twenty minutes into the game the home team’s efforts paid off. Bart Goor surprised the Westerlo defence by cutting inside from the left and defeated De Winter with his right foot.
Anderlecht’s dominance in the first half continued but the home team’s passing game lacked the precision to really upset Westerlo. In fact, it was the visitors who stumped the home crowd with an equaliser just before the break. A Coelho free kick found Stef Wils who headed the ball past Zitka.
The Mauves were determined to set the record straight in the second half and were successful ten minutes after the break. Serhat Akin connected to a Bart Goor cross to regain the lead. Anderlecht was not content with this narrow lead and pressed on. Akin came close to scoring his second goal of the evening.
Westerlo in turn tried to counterattack. On one such attack Dirar found Delen who had the time and space for a shot. The winger instead chose to lift the ball over Zitka but failed to do so with accuracy. This could’ve been another equaliser.
It was the home team, on the other hand, who sealed the game. With five minutes to go it was the Serhat Akin who put his team 3-1 ahead with his second goal of the evening. De Winter could not stop the Turkish striker’s menacing shot outside the box.
Anderlecht edge two points closer to Standard through a deserved victory over Westerlo. Club Bruges, on the other hand, take over the top position after defeating Zulte Waregem.
Goal(s): 20' Bart Goor 1-0, 1-1 38' Stef Wils , 2-1 56' Serhat Akin, 3-1 88' Serhat Akin
RSC Anderlecht:Anderlecht: Zitka, Deschacht, Juhasz, Pareja, Wasilewski, Biglia (46' De Man), Goor, Hassan (76' Théréau), Polak, Akin, Legear (87' Van Damme)
Westerlo:De Winter, Corstjens, Evens, Farsi, Vanaudenaerde, Delen (79' Scheelen), Mennes (79' Van Hout), Wagemakers (46' Van Den Ede), Wils, Coelho, Dirar
Yellow cards: 46' Nabil Dirar
Red cards: /
Referee: Joeri Van de Velde
Stadium: Constant Vanden Stock