Bruges Christmas party spoiled, Standard celebrate

Club Brugge were stunned by Waasland-Beveren on Thursday evening, missing their chance to top the league table for at least 1 day. In other action, Anderlecht moved past Zulte Waregem thanks to a West-Flemish own-goal. The win allows Anderlecht to leapfrog Club Brugge to second place. Late on Friday, leaders Standard won the final match of 2014, whipping KV Kortrijk 1-5. This allowed the Reds of Standard to move 4 points clear at the top of the table.

28,000 fans in Bruges - the biggest home crowd of this 21st day of play - witnessed how modest Waasland-Beveren took it 1-2. Things had started well though for Bruges, with veteran midfielder Timmy Simons converting a penalty after just 2 minutes, 1-0. However, goals by Bojovic and Trickovski meant that Waasland-Beveren finally took it 1-2, after a poor performance by the home team (photo: Waasland-Beveren celebrating after the match with Timmy Simons (front) showing his disappointment).

"It's really frustrating to start the winter break like this," Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme told reporters. Waasland-Beveren, last but one in the rankings, spoiled the home party. When the stadium speaker invited the crowd to join the big Christmas party after the match, he was booed. The club had also prepared a special light show in the stadium, but this hardly triggered any applause.

In other action, Anderlecht managed to move past another top-6 team, Zulte Waregem, confirming their resurrection. An own-goal by Zulte midfielder Junior Malanda sealed it for the Brussels club and allowed Dutch Team Manager John van den Brom to pick up 13 points out of a possible 15 in the past 3 games.

Standard de Liège thrashed Kortrijk 1-5 in West Flanders. Imoh Ezekiel scored twice as Standard were already safe at the break, leading 0-3. Standard striker Michy Batshuayi scored one, bringing his tally to 14. He is the league's present top scorer, with 2 goals more than Lokeren's Hamdi Harbaoui and Kortrijk's Ivan Santini.

The standings (21 of 30 days of play before the play-offs):

1. Standard de Liège   48 points

2. Anderlecht     44

3. Club Brugge   43

4. Zulte Waregem 41

5. Lokeren            36

6. KRC Genk        35

7. KV Kortrijk         29

8. AA Gent            27

9. Cercle Brugge   26

10. Charleroi          24

11. KV Oostende   22

12. Lierse SK         20

13. KV Mechelen   20

14. OH Leuven      19

15. W.Beveren       17

16. RAEC Mons     13