Fresh from the winter break, Standard Liege extended their lead at the top of the Jupiler Pro League to seven points after overcoming 12th placed KV Oostende on Saturday on the first matchday of 2014.
Goals either side of half time from Pro League top scorer Michy Batshuayi and Ivan de Camargo were enough to secure all three points for Guy Luzon’s outfit as Standard made it twelve games unbeaten, pulling away from chasers Anderlecht, Club Brugge and Zulte Waregem in the process.
In what was the first game of the weekend on Saturday, Batshuayi put Standard ahead after 37 minutes after profiting from a fortuitous mix-up between the Oostende defenders, eventually finding a way past visiting goalkeeper Didier Ovono. The home side doubled their lead on 69 minutes, when substitute Julien De Sart found Ivan de Camargo, who finished comfortably after beating the defender.
Third placed Club Brugge visited The Lisp to take on Lierse. A stunner from Victor Vazquez put Brugge in front after 70 minutes after a dull first half. Former Chelsea and Barcelona striker Eiður Guðjohnsen had the pick of the chances to double Blauw-Zwart’s lead, before both Maxime Lestienne and Vazquez went close. But Brugge were made the rue their missed chances, as Kostadin Huzarov’s deflected effort looped over ‘keeper Matthew Ryan and into the back of the net deep into stoppage time.
Elsewhere, Club Brugge’s rivals Cercle entertained high-flying Lokeren at the Jan Breydelstadion, where Lokeren ran out 3-0 winners. Hans Vanaken opened the scoring after just seven minutes before a late Hamdi Harbaoui double added to Cercle Brugge’s misery, who drop down to 10th.
Gent had the opportunity to bridge the gap between them and seventh placed Kortrijk as the pair met on Saturday. However, Stijn De Smet’s 93rd minute winner stole a win the visitors, which leaves Kortrijk just three points from a Championship play-off place.
OH Leuven dropped into the relegation zone after a 2-0 loss at Sporting Charleroi. Two late strikes from Harlem Gnohere and Neeskens Kebano meant that Mario Notaro’s Charleroi climb to 9th.
Waasland-Beveren moved up to 14th at the expense of bottom-of-the-table Mons on Saturday, who are now seven points from safety. It was the visitors Mons who actually took the lead through Noe Dussenne after 14 minutes, before Dalibor Veselinović excellent hat-trick ended any hopes Mons had of taking a much-needed win. Veselinović’s striking partner Robert Demjan then added to the scoreline, as Beveren ran out 4-1 winners.
Both Anderlecht and Zulte Waregem were in action on Sunday against Mechelen and Genk, respectively.
John Van den Brom’s Anderlecht were ahead after just two minutes when midfielder Andy Najar headed home from close range. But the reigning champion’s promising start didn’t materialise into points as first Steven de Petter equalised after half an hour, before Benjamin Mokulu Tembe’s 57th minute goal won the game for Mechelen.
Zulte Waregem, alongside Anderlecht and Club Brugge, now find themselves seven points behind league leaders Standard Liege despite beating Genk 1-0 in the final match of week 22.
Standard Liege 2-0 KV Oostende
Gent 0-1 Kortrijk
Sporting Charleroi 2-0 OH Leuven
Lierse 1-1 Club Brugge
Waasland-Beveren 4-1 Mons
Cercle Brugge 0-3 Lokeren
Mechelen 2-1 Anderlecht
Zulte Waregem 1-0 Genk
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