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Cercle come away empty-handed against Anderlecht

Cercle failed to hold on to an early lead at home against RSC Anderlecht. Despite an excellent start to the match, marked by a goal in the first minute, the visitors would lead after half an hour via two goals from the visitors' Joshua Zirkzee. Cercle showed plenty of fight, but was unable to overturn the deficit.

The match couldn't have started better for Cercle: it was still in the opening minute when Velkovski found Deman centrally, who slipped the ball past Van Crombrugge in the Anderlecht goal. The Groen-Zwart stayed on the front foot, but would see the visitors equalize inside fifteen minutes. Sergio Gomez made an overlapping run and would set up Zirkzee for the equalizer. Cercle would show themselves to have the upper hand after the equalizer but needed an excellent intervention from Didillon when the speedy Raman was in on the counter. On the half hour, though, they would pay the price: Zirkzee saw his shot deflect in off a defender past a helpless Didillon. Thereafter, Anderlecht started to have more and more possession and even as Cercle tried to push for an equalizer, they did not always make the best choice in the penalty area, and a halftime the visitors led, 1-2.

After a messy start to the second half, Vanhoutte had an excellent shot from long range with which Van Crombrugge struggled. With the fans behind them, Cercle opted to stay on the offensive and brought on two fresh face with Rubio and the newly-signed Millan. A well-positioned Delcroix had to bail out his goalkeeper in an attempt by Deman, but the team's good attacking intentions did not translate into scoring opportunities. Cercle started taking risks and Anderlecht became more and more dangerous under, particularly through the substitute Amuzu. Didillon kept the Groen-Zwart in the game several times and Cercle may have even been lucky that the visitors weren't clinical enough Cercle also pushed Utkus forward, but would do no more to trouble Van Crombrugge in the Anderlecht goal. Cercle, for the first time this season, would leave the match empty-handed.

Cercle Brugge: Didillon, Vitinho, Popovic, Utkus, Corryn (Raux-Yao 80'), Velkovski, Vanhoutte, Da Silva (Van Der Bruggen 74'), Hotic (Rubio 57'), Deman (Denkey 74') and Sampers (Millan 57').

Anderlecht: Van Crombrugge, Hoedt, Delcroix, Murillo, Cullen, Olsson, Refaelov (Amuzu 74'), Verschaeren (Ashimeru 66'), Zirkzee (Harwood-Bellis 86'), Gomez, Raman (Thelin 74').

Goals: 1-0 Deman (1'), 1-1 Zirkzee (13'), 1-2 Zirkzee (29').

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