Anderlecht won without convincing at Charleroi, thus increasing the pressure on Union

Anderlecht won without convincing at Charleroi, thus increasing the pressure on Union

Anderlecht increases the pressure on Union (a little). The Purple & White won – without conviction – 1-3 on a visit to Charleroi and thus came within eight points of the leader. It remains a long way and the football will have to be better if Anderlecht really wants to fight for the title until the end.

Anderlecht did it again in Charleroi with Kasper Dolberg up front, which meant that Anderlecht – on paper – opted for the footballing eleven. And that quickly paid off: Hazard combined well on the right and forced Van Cleemput to score an own goal. Barely five minutes had passed, and there seemed to be nothing wrong with the purple and white team. Delaney, Augustinsson and Sardella were still missing from the selection: it was difficult to get them fit.

But instead of pushing forward, Brussels residents started to back away. It is not that Charleroi is overflowing with qualities, but supported by the home crowd, the Carolos can always do something more: it is no coincidence that Charleroi has scored 21 of its 24 points at home so far. At Anderlecht it was women and children first: every second ball was lost, other balls were kicked away wildly. Charleroi did press, but did not create clear chances. Anderlecht did nothing in return: Verschaeren was invisible, Patris was skipped in the build-up and Arnstad couldn’t even cross the halfway line on the other side.

Dolberg after two months

Until half an hour Anderlecht were combining again on the right. Once again Hazard was able to cross freely, and now Dolberg dived into Dari’s back to score a competition goal for Anderlecht for the first time since December 1 (!). 0-2, match played, you would think. But again the Purple & White made the mistake of leaning back. Charleroi – boosted by a good Camara and Heymans – had room to combine. The visitors escaped when Dabbagh failed to touch a pinpoint cross from Heymans, but it was a stay of execution. After a free kick from Ilaimaharitra, the ball got stuck in the box for Schmeichel, and it was Dari who scored the tying goal just before half time.

The picture of the game remained the same after the break: Charleroi threatened without being really dangerous, while Anderlecht could no longer accomplish anything offensively. The most exciting moment was when Thorgan Hazard kicked the ball straight into referee Erik Lambrechts’ face on the hour mark. Riemer intervened and brought on Vazquez and Leoni for Dolberg and Stroeykens. And the Professional Referee Department also had to change: Erik Lambrechts could not continue – after a brief attempt – after Hazard’s ball hit his face, Laurent Willems replaced him after a long delay.


Vazquez also at gunpoint

He soon had the whole of Anderlecht over him when Dreyer was hindered by Rogelj but did not go down theatrically in the box. It was light – the gray zone perhaps – but the Dane was hindered with his kick. However, Dreyer did not let it get to his heart: in the subsequent corner he served Vazquez, who shot it home in no time: 1-3.

Thirteen more minutes of extra time were added, but they were largely for naught: Mazzu threw on almost every striker he saw sitting on his bench, but to no avail. Benbouali headed – from offside – at Schmeichel from close range, but he made a good reflex.

Charleroi must continue to look down: for the Carolos, next week’s OHL match is of vital importance with a view to retention. Anderlecht comes a little closer to Union at the top, although the gap remains eight points.

Charleroi: Koffi, Petris, Van Cleemput, Dari, Rogelj (90′ Dragsnes), Ilaimaharitra, Camara, Heymans (83′ Badji), Guiagon (90′ Sylla), Bernier (66′ Benbouali), Dabbagh

RSC Anderlecht: Schmeichel, Patris, Debast, Vertonghen, Arnstad, Rits, Stroeykens (63′ Leoni), Verschaeren (90′ Gattoni), Dreyer (90′ Monticelli), Hazard (90′ Angulo), Dolberg (63′ Vazquez)

Goals: 6′ Van Cleemput (owngoal) 0-1, 29′ Dolberg (Hazard) 0-2, 42′ Dari (Ilaimaharitra) 1-2, 85′ Vazquez (Dreyer) 1-3

Yellow cards: no

Red cards: no

Referee: Erik Lambrechts (76′ Laurent Willems)

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