Standard strengthen title ambitions

Standard de Liège are climbing further up the table after downing AA Gent (2-1). In other action on Sunday evening, Anderlecht cruised past Westerlo (2-0) while Club Brugge suffered a new defeat in Lokeren (1-0). After 12 days of play, Racing Genk retain the lead despite being defeated by KV Kortrijk on Friday.

Standard move up to third place after downing AA Gent before a home crowd of 27,000. Standard had more ball possession in the first half, with striker Mémé Tchité (photo on top) putting the home ahead just before the break after a mistake by Gent.

AA Gent made more crucial mistakes in the match, also after the break, allowing Standard midfielder Mehdi Carcela to double the score after an excellent individual effort.

When midfielder Bernd Thijs fouled Standard striker Mbaye Leye in the penalty area, the home team were given a penalty. However, Axel Witsel saw his attempt saved by Ghent goalkeeper Bojan Jorgacevic.

AA Gent regained confidence and were able to pull one back through Senegalese striker Elimane Coulibaly. AA Gent defender Stef Wils missed an excellent opportunity to equalise in the dying minutes of the game, but this would have given AA Gent more than they deserved.

Anderlecht cruise past Westerlo

Despite being reduced to ten men after 17 minutes of play, Anderlecht were never in difficulties against Westerlo. Czech midfielder Jan Polak was sent off after hitting an opponent in the face, but Anderlecht pushed forward and young striker Romelu Lukaku opened the score on 34 minutes after a nice individual effort.

Anderlecht controlled the match after the break but had to wait until deep in the match before they were certain to win. The Brussels club was helped by an own-goal by Westerlo's Adnan Mravac, who doubled the score, 2-0.

Poor display by Club Brugge

Sporting Lokeren have posted their 5th successive win after beating a disappointing Club Brugge. Lokeren is a small city in East Flanders, about halfway between Ghent and Antwerp. The local football team, Sporting, were fighting relegation over the past few seasons, but are now in contention for a place in the top-6.

The only goal of the match was scored by Jérémy Taravel, 5 minutes before half-time. Club Brugge could not react, and had frustrating evening. A tackle by Nibal Dirar almost broke the leg of Lokeren's Tiko (but Dirar escaped with a yellow card) and Vadis Odjija was sent off after defying the referee.

The top-8 after 12 days of play:

  1. RC Genk    29 points
  2. Anderlecht 24
  3. Standard    23
  4. AA Gent      22
  5. KV Mechelen 22
  6. Cercle Brugge 22
  7. Lokeren              21
  8. Club Brugge      19