Club Brugge secures league title at old rivals Anderlecht
Club Brugge were crowned champions of the Belgian league title for the 17th time after a 3-3 draw at rivals Anderlecht that secured the point they needed to retain the title.
The ‘’Blauw en Zwart’’ were given the title last season after the league was cut short due to the pandemic and Philippe Clement’s side continued their success this season with another title and their third in four seasons.
The draw was enough to confirm Brugge as champions after rivals Genk had hammered Antwerp 4-0 earlier in the day.
After a quiet start, Brugge took the lead after 13 minutes.
The visitors worked the ball patiently and a Charles De Ketelaere cross rom the left was chested in by Hans Vanaken Brugge were dominant and had further chances to extend their lead, but it was Anderlecht who levelled the scores on the stroke of half time.
A Clinton Mata handball gave Lukas Nmecha the chance to equalise from the spot and he finished with aplomb, going with the panenka.
Club Brugge did not let the equaliser affect their game and they started the second half with verve. Just eight minutes into the second half, Brugge took the lead again.
De Ketelaere set up another goal with a pinpoint cross that landed the ball perfectly onto Vanaken’s head, who beat Bart Verbruggen with a superb header. It was soon 3-1 and the title was edging ever closer.
A one-two betweeen Noa Lang and Ruud Vormer opened up the Anderlecht defence and Lang fired an unstoppable shot into the bottom corner .
However, halfway through the second half, Lukas Nmecha breathed new life into the game with a composed finish after he ran onto a long pass by Matt Miazga. It was the 18th goal of the season for the Manchester City loanee.
The game was suddenly alive and it looked as if it was going to be a compelling final minutes when Michael Amr Murillo finished from close range, but his goal was disallowed for offside.
Bruun Larsen salvaged a point for Anderlecht in the 93rd minute which could be an important goal for Anderlecht in the battle for a Europa League place, but it did not ruin Club Brugge’s day, who celebrated another league title.
What does it mean?
Club Brugge secured the point they needed to win the title for the 17th time. It is the first time since 1978 that Brugge have won the title for the second season in a row.
CHAMPIOOOOOOONS! 🏆 #BackToBack pic.twitter.com/3jr0TXjESk
— Club Brugge KV (@ClubBrugge) May 20, 2021
Genk miss out on title but secure second after Thorstvedt hat-trick
A Kristian Thorstvedt hat-trick was not enough to breathe new life into the title race but it helped Genk secure second place and thus takes part in the Champions League qualifiers. It was a hat-trick in just over 20 minutes for the Norwegian midfielder.
The battle for third and a place in the Europa League play-offs will go to the final day when Anderlecht face Antwerp.
Anderlecht’s draw against Brugge puts them a point clear of Antwerp and they will finish third if they avoid defeat on Sunday.
Featured image: Noa Lang of Club Brugge KV celebrates with team mate Clinton Mata of Club Brugge KV and Philippe Clement, coach of Club Brugge KV after scoring his team’s 3rd goal during the Jupiler Pro League Championship Play-Offs match between RSC Anderlecht and Club Brugge. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)