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Suddenly second place is in sight: Club Brugge convincingly puts Antwerp aside

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Whatever the outcome in Anderlecht-Union, Club Brugge will be in sight of second place after the 3-0 win against Antwerp. The national champion will then have to work hard again to reach European football. Then through the cup final?

The strong and failed starts in these Champions’ Playoffs against each other. 7 out of 9 for Club Brugge, 0 out of 9 for Antwerp. This can also be seen in the way they play. Club Brugge is now scoring from its chances, Antwerp is combining nicely, but once near the enemy penalty area it is over. This is how you lose three games in a row. The reigning national champion is therefore at the bottom of the Champions’ Play-offs and that place does not entitle them to European football.

Antwerp had a lot of ball possession in the initial phase, yes, but was not dangerous at all. A bicycle kick by Ekkelenkamp halfway through the first half was the only thing the national champion showed before half-time.

Then Club Brugge was better, even overwhelming around the fifteen minute mark. Nusa placed an effort wide, an Onyedika header suffered the same fate. Lammens intervened on a shot by Nusa and a free kick by Vanaken. Just before half-time, the Antwerp team had to turn around for the first time after a goal by Onyedika, on a pass from De Cuyper.

Powerless Antwerp

After half time there was Antwerp. Ekkelenkamp came face to face with Jackers but was unable to get past Mignolet’s replacement. It was striking that Jackers kept the ball out of the goal in the one-on-one match in the same way as Mignolet usually does. With one knee bent and making the body as tall as possible. Learned from the master himself. Janssen headed towards goal, but Jackers stood firm.

Just when the visitors’ urge to act increased, Club took away all their courage. Meijer continued on the left and reached Skoras on the other side. The Pole placed neatly in the corner with his left. 2-0 and the match seemed to be over because the powerless Antwerp was not supposed to be able to put that right.

Not that Van Bommel didn’t try. The three who lost their places after last week – Ilenikhena, De Laet and Ondrejka – came in. Not much changed. A long shot from Kerk flew wide, an attempt from De Laet was no problem for Jackers. Club did not have too much trouble maintaining that lead. On the contrary. After a perfect counterattack via Balanta and Jutgla, substitute Zinckernagel was able to score the 3-0.

Club Brugge can still hope for second place after the convincing victory. It comes to two points if Anderlecht or Union lose, with a draw Blue-Black sneaks within three points of both. Remarkable because after the regular competition and before the points were halved, Club was still 19 points behind Union and 12 points behind Anderlecht.

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