Union remains the team of the capital: it won the derby in the Lotto Park against Anderlecht with 1-3. The Purple & White had to play with ten after a red card for N’Diaye for almost ninety minutes, even took the lead, but collapsed completely like a house of cards in the last ten minutes: 1-3 and the sixth consecutive defeat against Union since their return to first class.
A big surprise for the Purple & White before kick-off: not Hendrik Van Crombrugge, but Bart Verbruggen between the posts. In addition, Brian Riemer also opted for Ashimeru and Diawara in midfield, at the expense of Arnstad and Trebel. At Union, Lynen replaced the suspended Teuma.
It was already on March 17, 1973 that Anderlecht could beat Union in the Belgian first division, and after only a few minutes it didn’t look like that would happen tonight. After a nice through ball from Vanzeir to Lazare, N’Diaye put the emergency brake on. The linesman first flagged for offside, but after a (long) VAR intervention it turned out that it was not offside and Van Driessche ruled that N’Diaye was the last man: red for the Senegalese. Riemer immediately intervened and brought Sardella in front of Refaelov.
Union smelled blood, but Bart Verbruggen was attentive to an attempt by Adingra. Bram Van Driessche, meanwhile, got an overview of the home crowd when he did not punish a foul by El Azzouzi with a yellow card – it promised to be a tough evening for the referee. Moments later, Verbruggen needed two attempts to clamp the ball. (Read more below the photo)
Anderlecht brought very little offensively and without Refaelov – the only one who still seems to provide an assist for the Purple & White – it was difficult to put something together. Meanwhile, both Diawara and Ashimeru were already yellow: Anderlecht’s midfield was non-existent.
The puppets started dancing again before the break: Burgess knocked down Amuzu and the whole of Anderlecht wanted to see red, but Van Driessche rightly stuck to yellow. Anderlecht coach Riemer also received a yellow card for protest. In the counter-attack, Amuzu took down Nieuwkoop hard – but correctly: Jan Vertonghen hovered ostentatiously over the injured Dutchman and shouted all sorts of things at him: the Anderlecht captain and the rushed Ismaël Kandouss also got a ticket: yellow card number five and six for peace. The last serious chance before the break was for Nieuwkoop, but his compatriot dived the ball out of the corner.
After the break, Union monopolized the ball further, but Anderlecht waited for the counter. Murillo made a good cross, but Silva couldn’t control the ball. On the counter shot, Verbruggen pushed Vanzeir’s ball into a corner.
Silva finally hits
But things can go strange: suddenly the Purple & White took the lead. Ashimeru got too much space in midfield, Amuzu passed his man on a rare occasion and Silva popped up well between his defenders to shoot the ball in from close range. The Portuguese’s first field goal since October 9 for the Purple & White could be a very important one. (Read more below the photo)
Union was excited and Geraerts tried to turn the tide with, among others, debutant Terho and it paid off: Lynen stabbed Puertas deep and he finished in a controlled manner. At Anderlecht they were furious because the injured Sardella was not allowed on the field by ref Bram Van Driessche – after he had first walked on his own initiative to neutralize a Union counter.
Crazy closing minutes
But Anderlecht couldn’t hold on to the draw either: Murillo let himself be trumped too easily at the back line, Puertas laid back on Lynen and he shot – via Arnstad and Vertonghen – the ball past Verbruggen. Even more: Anderlecht had to empty the chalice to the bottom: Boniface served Adingra, who beat Verbruggen nicely.
In the standings, Union keeps the gap with Genk at seven points, while Anderlecht remains eleventh with (for the time being) four points behind a place that entitles them to participate in the Europe Play-offs. (Read more below the photo)
RSC Anderlecht: Verbruggen, Murillo, Debast, Vertonghen, N’Diaye, Diawara (82′ Trebel), Ashimeru (69′ Arnstad), Verschaeren, Refaelov (11′ Sardella, 82′ Kana), Amuzu, Silva (69′ Raman)
Union: Moris, Burgess, Van Der Heyden, Kandouss (79′ Terho), Nieuwkoop (61′ Puertas), Lazare (78′ François), Lynen, El Azzouzi (61′ Lapoussin), Adingra, Vanzeir (79′ Nilsson), Boniface
goals: 64′ Silva (Amuzu) 1-0, 81′ Gates (Lynen) 1-1, 87′ Lynen (Gates) 1-2
Yellow cards: 12′ Nieuwkoop, 20′ Ashimeru, 38′ Diawara, 42′ Burgess, 45′ Vertonghen, 45′ Kandouss, 80′ Sardella, 81′ Amuzu
Red cards: 10′ N’Diaye
Referee: Bram Van Driessche