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Super Sunday Recap: AA Gent’s Dominant Win, Antwerp’s Defensive Concerns, and Genk vs. Anderlecht Drama

Super Sunday produced only one winner: AA Gent beat Club Brugge. Union and Antwerp, and Genk and Anderlecht played a draw. Nevertheless, the three toppers provided enough material for discussion for Peter Vandenbempt’s weekly analysis.

“AA Gent has all the assets to compete for the main prize”

KAA Gent beat Club Brugge 2-1 and also made an impression. I thought Ghent played an excellent game. Club Brugge, which had adjusted its line-up somewhat, was bluffed and trumped from the start.

Club Brugge has long had no answer to the fast pace and the eager, high pressing of Ghent. Compared to Thursday’s match against Osasuna, too many players at Bruges remained below their level: Zinckernagel, Onyedika, Vetlesen…

AA Gent combined energy and surrender with very good football. The midfield turned great with De Sart, Kums and Hong. On the flank, Archie Brown is a great discovery.

And I’ve said it a thousand times, but I’m going to repeat it one more time: in the front, Hugo Cuypers remains an unimaginable phenomenon in the rush hour.

AA Gent has also become very solid at the back with Watanabe. Coach Hein Vanhaezebrouck also has more substitution options than in previous years.

When Club Brugge still had chances to score a point against ten men, goalkeeper Nardi was there again. Very reliable.

Club Brugge has long had no answer to the fast pace and the eager, high pressing of Ghent.

Peter Vandenbempt

It’s been a top week for AA Gent: qualified for the group stage in Europe, kept Orban and Cuypers on board – no one would have thought that possible – and now also won convincingly against Club Brugge.

In Ghent they know from experience that a nice victory in the summer against the rival – even with 6-1 as in 2021 – guarantees nothing.

But it is not imprudent to say that AA Gent has all the trump cards or even more than a few competitors to fully compete for the main prize.

“The flush in the back at Antwerp is getting very thin”

Antwerp could also have won on Union’s field, but it ended 2-2. Not a perfect week, then? Antwerp nevertheless has every reason to be satisfied with that qualification for the group stage of the Champions League.

But they don’t like the way Antwerp is already handing over a victory in the Jupiler Pro League for the second time, as in Leuven. They are not used to that.

They actually gave away a penalty kick too easily twice. Those individual mistakes are not what we got used to from Antwerp last year.

On the contrary, last year they sometimes didn’t play football well – yesterday they did – but then often finished it clinically and kept a clean sheet.

In general, the core of Antwerp is too small to fight on three fronts.

Peter Vandenbempt

It is not that Antwerp suddenly does not defend well, but not flawlessly. That should not be surprising, because the flush in the back is becoming very thin for coach Mark van Bommel.

Alderweireld is on the sidelines, Vines and De Laet were injured, Avila has already left. That’s just too much to improvise. Although I must say that the very young Zeno Van den Bosch made an impression again.

But with a view to the Champions League, there is a real need for extra players, I think. In general, the core of Antwerp is too small to fight on three fronts.

Last year we also made that comment around the turn of the year. It was already very tight then and the coach had to improvise. Now there is also the European tax. Marc Overmars should take a look at that.

Anyway, meanwhile Antwerp can already look back on a great summer. Started in the spring and everything they could get, they took.

“The contrast between Genk and Anderlecht was very big”

Also no winner in KRC Genk against Anderlecht, but after the 1-1 the Limburgers were declared the moral winner. Even though Tolu’s equalizer only came in minute 97, Genk should have won this match.

Because it wanted to play and dominate football from the start. Because even with ten before half-time it played better football at certain times and kept attacking. Because for a long time it even had the best chances with Paintsil and Heynen.

And because it continued to fight afterwards and that – not to forget – after a real test Thursday of about 150 minutes in the heat in Turkey.

Cheers to Genk. The contrast with what Anderlecht did against that was very big. Being allowed to play football with a man more from fifteen minutes and still unable to control Genk until the break.

Riemer referred to the 13 out of 18 a bit cynically, but that’s a discourse that won’t last forever.

Peter Vandenbempt

After the break it was better, but the football was so slow, idealess and sterile that it hurt the eyes. A few negative outliers, such as Flips who cannot confirm his good first match against Westerlo. Dreyer is always in it under Brian Riemer, but only the coach knows why.

The coach also did little to get his team to play football. After Amuzu’s goal, Anderlecht had enough chances to finish it off, but they didn’t push through.

It was with the buttocks at the end, just like against Antwerp, Westerlo and Charleroi, and now it has ended badly for once.

Remarkably, Riemer already reacted very angry at the press conference when comments were made about the meager quality of the game. He then referred to the points a bit cynically: 13 out of 18. But that is a discourse that will not last forever.

“The riot was a suitable conclusion to an ugly match”

It was also a game that was full of incidents, with many cards and afterwards there was also an altercation in the players’ tunnel between Jan Vertonghen and Genk technical director Dimitri De Condé.

That was a very appropriate conclusion to what I would call an ugly match. Referee Van Driessche could have solved that first incident between Vertonghen and Bonsu Baah without a card and then the red card would not have fallen. That conditions the game a bit.

But everything that came afterwards, all those incidents and cards, that is mainly the merit of the players of the two teams and not of the referee.

Anderlecht are being blamed – and rightly so, because there were a few common fouls. But Genk also kicked quite nicely with Munoz and in the end with captain Bryan Heynen, a kick that could also be worth a red card, but apparently remained far under the radar.

And then the incident at the end. We understand that Dimitri De Condé is angry or frustrated about Vertonghen’s provocations during the match.

But I don’t think that a technical director should read the Levites after the game in the neutral zone to a player of the opposing team, who is still full of adrenaline just off the field, and thus unleash another riot. And then again surprised that that player responds. It’s not necessary.

2023-09-04 07:47:10
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