Club Brugge enter Europe with doubts after defeat (1-2) against AZ

No festive season opening for Club Brugge: 14,000 fans saw how AZ won the Brugse Metten (1-2), but above all that the blue and black is not ready at all. That is no surprise after barely four weeks of preparation, but on Thursday Club will have to play in the Conference League against Aarhus. If that’s okay.

Searching, rooting, adjusting. Despite a festive start. It took Skov Olsen barely a minute and a half to put Club ahead. A hospital ball was simply picked up by the Dane, who simply floored Mathew Ryan – received as a crowd favorite – in the far corner. Even before the tenth minute, 14,000 fans saw the signs in balance again. Rits wanted to clear a cross from De Wit, but headed the ball into his own square. Silly, but nothing you can do about it.

De Cuyper was not yet convincing. — © Isosport

Plat

And then it went quiet. Club, with newcomers Skoras, Thiago (and De Cuyper) in the starting line-up, was unable to prepare much offensively. Deila’s 4-3-3 didn’t thunder yet, especially offensively Skoras – who does have a gear in house – and Thiago couldn’t find each other enough. When Club threatened, it almost always went through Skov Olsen. The pressure was also carried out too passively. In the back, Buchanan had a hard time as right back, while De Cuyper was also unable to convince. It was too flat, AZ dictated the law.

Skov Olsen opened the scoring. — © BELGIUM

Deila will also have been annoyed by this: after the break there was much more intensity in the Bruges game. A much-needed power surge. One that even resulted in four Bruges yellow cards during the second half. AZ was pushed into their own half and a first warning came via Vanaken after good interference from Thiago.

The latter was relieved on the hour by Yaremchuk, while Vetlesen, Homma and Odoi were also allowed to participate for another thirty minutes. All guys who apparently are close to the base, but did not cause a change. That quadruple substitution also caused a loss of concentration: suddenly it was 1-2. A crossed shot from Sugawara left Mignolet without a chance, De Cuyper and Spileers let themselves roll too easily there.

Mechele fends off Pavlidis. — © Isosport

Ten bills

In the last half hour, Club was unable to rectify that deficit, partly due to the many substitutions. Vanaken was the only one who remained standing. Boyata came closest to an equalizer with a header on the post.

Should all alarm bells go off now? Not that either, because we cannot expect Club and Deila to be ready after four weeks of preparation. But there is not much time left: Aarhus will visit Aarhus for the Conference League on Thursday and things really have to be much better.

Club Brugge-AZ 1-2

Club Brugge: Mignolet, Buchanan (62′ Odoi), Mechele (73′ Ordonez), Spileers (74′ Boyata), De Cuyper (82′ Meijer), Onyedika (82′ Nielsen), Rits (62′ Vetlesen), Vanaken, Skov Olsen (62′ Homma), Skoras (73′ Vermant), Thiago (62′ Yaremchuk)

goals: 2′ Skov Olsen 1-0, 9′ Rits (own) 1-1, 62′ Sugawara 1-2

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