JPL Week 1: Anderlecht stunned by Lokeren, KV Oostende needs experience
Result of the week – Anderlecht 2-3 Lokeren
That Anderlecht lost against Lokeren is not really exactly a surprise for us. Lokeren kept their most important players and did some good transfers, bringing in Jordan Remacle and Hans Vanaken. Anderlecht lost Lucas Biglia, Dieumerci Mbokani and Milan Jovanovic. The champions of last season signed Luka Milivojevic this week to replace Lucas Biglia but it is unlikely that he will solve all the problems in Brussels.
No worries yet for Anderlecht as sportive director Herman Van Holsbeeck who said that they will buy some quality players. Lokeren played a very solid game against Anderlecht. Hans Vanaken had a fantastic debut and scored twice for his new club, his second goal was a beautiful volley.
We do have to mention that Anderlecht played with a very young team. Central defender Chancel Mbemba (18 years old) and defending midfielder Youri Tielemans (16 years old) both played well.
Also on Sunday Standard Liège won their first game of the season against KV Mechelen. The club of Liège still needs to find some routine in their game but the goals of Mujangi Bia and Michuy Batshuayi were enough to take the three points.
On Saturday, Racing Genk won their match against newly promoted KV Oostende. After a couple of minutes it was clear that KV Oostende really need some experienced players at this level. The club gave it their all, and attempted to be a tough opponent. But after 90 minutes, they did not even create one chance, which is telling. KV Oostende coach Vanderbiest said that he expected that his team would have it difficult the first matches in the Jupiler Pro League. He hopes that his team can adapt soon so they can show everybody why they got promoted last season.
Mons, the team of coach Enzo Scifo, drew 1-1 in their first home game of the season with Cercle Brugge. The team of Lorenzo Staelens will want to forget last year. They struggled in the regular competition but recovered very well in PO III and the play offs with the second division teams. Cercle Brugge started well against Mons and maybe deserved more than a point.
Waasland-Beveren is a mystery for most of the Jupiler Pro League journalists and analysts. The club of coach Glen De Boeck signed almost 20 new players. They did some good deals but Glen De Boeck has asked for some time following all these new signings. Nonetheless Waasland-Beveren were good value against AA Gent. The Buffalos were happy to take a point away from home after playing poorly.
KV Kortrijk played their first game of the season against University city Leuven. Hein Van Haezebrouck, coach of KV Kortrijk, can’t have been happy with proceedings, with both sides failing to find any rhythm. Crucially, Van Haezebrouck replaced Teddy Chevalier for new signing Ivan Santini after the break, and the fans of Kortrijk are expecting a lot of the Croatian striker. The pressure is off early in the season for Santini as he scored the winning goal a couple minutes before stoppage time.
Lierse played against revelation of last season Zulte Waregem. The club from Antwerp have done well with acquisitions in the summer, the most important signing being Hernan Losada, who was a free agent after the Beerschot-story. Zulte Waregem stunned everybody in Belgium by loaning Thorgan Hazard for another year from Chelsea. The brother of Eden Hazard showed again his potential by scoring a goal and giving an assist. That Zulte Waregem have managed to keep him is fantastic for the club. Without Jonathan Delaplace it will be difficult to do better than last season but Zulte Waregem is certainly ready for the challenge. The news that Junior Malanda, breaking his contract and signing at Wolfsburg, will rejoin on loan might give them a lift too.
Friday’s game saw Club Brugge open the Jupiler Pro League at home against Sporting Charleroi. New signing Timmy Simons orobably expected something else from his first match with the club where it all started for him at the highest level. After 21 minutes Simons got sent off after a debatable decision from the referee. Club Brugge tried to create chances but Charleroi did a good job at the back. At the end of the first half Charleroi also got a player send off after Damien Marcq took a second yellow card. In the second half Club Brugge first Chinese player Wang scored the opening goal of the season. Afterwards Charleroi had an amazing opportunity to equalise but Thiaré missed. In stoppage time Jonathan Blondel scored the second goal of the evening with a beautiful shot. Title candidate Club Brugge won their first game with 2-0 after a difficult evening.
Club Brugge – Charleroi 2-0
Mons – Cercle Brugge 1-1
Waasland-Beveren – AA Gent 1-1
Racing Genk – KV Oostende 3-0
KV Kortrijk – OH Leuven 1-0
Lierse SK – Zulte Waregem 1-2
Anderlecht – Lokeren 2-3
KV Mechelen – Standard Liège 0-2