Club Brugge November 2021
There's the six points we needed! Good effort from us against opposition we were expected to beat.
We didn't put up the most convincing scoreline against Waasland-Beveren, but we were the only ones who were going to be winners here, as we dominated in possession and chances. Our young DM Sander Vanhee had two good chances in the first half, but both were well saved by their keeper Merveille Goblet. We had to wait until the second half for the breakthrough, as substitute Ricardo Pereira curled our winner into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards out just moments after he had come on. That was all we needed to win, but the bad news is that Jelle Vossen came off injured and will be out for three months. He was in really good form and scoring vital goals for us, but we'll have to rely on either Wesley or Vukmanovic up front now.
We took a while to get going against Royal Mouscron, but we were very good once we did. We were poor in the first half and allowed our opponents to control the ball, but there was only one highlight between the both of us. The second half was markedly different. Dorin Rotariu got us on the board on the hour mark by ripping home a half volley into the bottom-left corner. We then doubled our lead five minutes later thanks to our short corner routine, as our two center backs Maxence Lacroix and Thomas Rogne combined to score, the former flicking on Jean-Thierry Lazare's cross to the latter, who needed only to tap it in for his first ever Club Brugge goal. We got our third on 75', as the substitute striker Vukmanovic hammered home a header from João Sousa's delivery, scoring his first senior goal in the Kaiser era. Mouscron did pull one back through their prolific striker Deivydas Matulevicius, but victory had already been assured for us here.
We've reaped the rewards thanks to those wins, as we leap from ninth up to fourth in just two games. We're now stuck in the middle of an extremely tight pack behind leaders Standard, who have gone seven points clear of second place. Keep in mind though- as @ManUtd1 said- that the points will be halved at the end of the Preliminary Stage, so that lead will inevitably become less no matter how large it grows. We're ahead of rivals Cercle by a single GD point, and behind Genk by the same margin. Sint-Truidense have moved back into the top six, while Gent and Zulte have fallen out. Oostende won another two games after beating us, shooting up to tenth. Kortrijk and Charleroi continue to battle at the bottom, in what will surely be an interesting relegation scrap heading into the second half of Preliminary Stage fixtures.
Rotariu's smashing half-volley won him the Goal of the Month award. Definitely one of my favorite strikes to watch at Club Brugge so far! If it wins our goal of the season at the year-end awards, you'll get to see it in living color.
The festive month of December will be a tough one. We have five games, and all of them are against teams currently in the top half. This is where we will need to truly prove ourselves and our baldness, and Hans can't wait for it. Los! Los! Los!