Anderlecht had a couple of good games in the domestic league and also posted a confidence-boosting European win against Olympiakos Piraeus, the leaders in Greece, last Thursday. All this had revived Anderlecht's title hopes. So far this season, they had some good games, but these were always followed by poor performances.
There were hopes that things would finally be different this time, but the defeat at Waasland-Beveren, a club fighting relegation, put Anderlecht back to square one. Anderlecht played a weak first half, had a better second half but missed the chances, and then... the dramatic evening of star player and former Golden Shoe Dennis Praet started.
Playmaker Praet (photo) was sent off after a second bookable offence late in the match, after which the man he was supposed to shadow at corners, Floriano Vanzo, made it 1-0 for Waasland-Beveren. It was Praet's first red card of his career. The talented youngster is expected to leave Anderlecht next summer for a bigger club, probably abroad.
A good weekend for Bruges
Club Brugge have 58 points now. AA Gent have 55, Anderlecht 51. Fourth-placed KV Oostende have 46, KRC Genk 42 and Charleroi 38. The battle for the last ticket for Play-off 1 will be a hard one though, with Standard de Liège and Zulte Waregem (that suffered a 2-3 home defeat against KV Mechelen in the last match) just one point behind with 37.
Only the top-6 will be allowed to Play-off 1. There are 3 rounds of play to go in the regular competition. Play-off 1 only starts in April, after the Cup Final.