Early red card the difference
Antwerp and Anderlecht battled against each other for third place and a place in the Europa League. Vincent Kompany’s team were a point ahead of Antwerp going into the game and just needed a point to finish above their rivals.
— Royal Antwerp FC (@official_rafc) May 23, 2021
It was a catastrophic start for Anderlecht, who went down to 10 men after 13 minutes when Matt Miazga was sent off for bringing down Lamkel Zé. They managed to hold out until half-time as the hosts struggled to create many opportunities.
Immediately after the break, Lamkel Zé was involved again as he made the difference for Antwerp. After a cross from Aurelio Buta, he headed past Bart Verbruggen to put Antwerp into the lead.
At the other end, Anderlecht tried to mount a reply but failed to test Jean Butez in goal. Antwerp held out and leapfrogged Anderlecht to finish third.
What it means
Antwerp, with 35 points, secured third on the final day and have reached the final preliminary round of the Europa League. Anderlecht finished fourth and will take part in the preliminary round of the Conference League.
— Royal Antwerp FC (@official_rafc) May 24, 2021
Gent leapfrog KV Mechelen in table on final matchday
It was a winner-takes-all battle for a European place between Gent and KV Mechelen as the battle for a European place went to the final day.
Mechelen needed only one point to play in Europe while Gent had to win.
Gent had the best chances in the first half. Roman Bezus headed against the bar but they were unable to break the deadlock.
Gent started the second half sluggishly but got some help from the home team shortly before the hour.
Issa Kabore misjudged a high ball from Andreas Hanche-Olsen and Bezus took full advantage. He headed over Yannick Thoelen into the goal and put the Buffalos on the brink of Europe.
Tarik Tissoudali seemed to seal KV Mechelen’s fate with a second goal in the 67th minute. A Ferdy Druijf penalty reduced the deficit but Gent held on to win 2-1 and secure a European place.
What it means
Gent won their last four games to pip Mechelen and take a place in the Conference League for next season.
𝐁𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐢𝐧 𝐄𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐩𝐞🏆
— KAA Gent (@KAAGent) May 23, 2021