And it goes on. Antwerp remains clear in the Jupiler Pro League. The Great Old now also won its sixth game of the season, beating Union 4-2. The visitors ended the match with nine and were never actually in the match against a superior Antwerp, which therefore takes 18 out of 18 and comes to one victory from the best start ever. The vice-champion is stuck at 10 points.
Teddy Teuma kicked all the frustration out of his body at the halftime signal: 4-1, say… If you live near the stadium and that thrown ball has ended up in your front yard, please report to the reception of De Bosuil.
Marc van Bommel tells us at least twice a week that he is very satisfied with the strikers in his selection. We often muttered against it, because Vincent Janssen did not reach the level that you can expect from an Orange international this season, while Michael Frey is Michael Frey – no less, but also no more. But see: Janssen is now getting up to speed. If he can continue the line of the past few days…
The 2-0 was excellent. Jurgen Ekkelenkamp sent Janssen into the alley, whereupon the attacker demonstrated that he had speed as well as strength. Van der Heyden lay down next to him, Moris had been beaten. Good goal.
Antwerp’s first three goals were all the result of clever combinations. The 1-0 ended up against the nets after a sharp cross via Miyoshi via Nieuwkoop, at the 3-1 – in between Van der Heyden jabbed against (2-1) – there was a brilliant deviation from Ekkelenkamp on Vines. Ekkelenkamp does not have the star quality of Radja, for example, but trust us: Marc Overmars did not want to trump Club just for prestige.
It was remarkable how aggressively Antwerp put pressure. The Great Old doesn’t do that every game, so that’s because Mark van Bommel saw that there were opportunities when Burgess and Sykes were on the ball – that’s called a good tactical plan. In addition, Antwerp made optimal use of the space available during the switchover. Likewise in the phase prior to the penalty for 4-1: Bataille crossed the entire field.
Actually, the match was already in a final fold at 3-1. Not because the class difference was so big – Union also had its moments -, but because the visitors were already with one man less after 38 minutes. After a VAR procedure, Lazare was shown red for a nasty kick on Yusuf’s ankle. However resilient and combative the Unionists may be, getting a backlog of two hits with ten against eleven in a swirling Deurne-North is no easy task.
After the break, the foot went off the accelerator a bit at Antwerp – you couldn’t blame them for that, the program has already been grueling and the points were in anyway -, so that Union was actually able to moderate. Substitute Eckert Ayensa made it 4-2. Union had to empty the chalice to the bottom: Lardot to the screen, El Azzouzi could also take a shower prematurely. You could see the despair on Karel Geraerts’ face.
When we saw Overmars in training this week, he was disappointed with Frey’s injury, “because we want to push on”. Read: Antwerp wants to keep its winning streak as long as possible. In the competition it now lasts six matches, Antwerp can also beat Westerlo, then it will equal its best start ever. In 1930-1931 Antwerp started with seven victories in a row, it was then also allowed to celebrate the title. Will a similar scenario be forthcoming? The fans are already dreaming. When Haroun came in, they chanted: “Haroun, Haroun, we are going to be champions.”
Antwerp: Butez, Almeida (62′ Valencia), Pacho, Alderweireld, Bataille, Yusuf, Gerkens, Miyoshi (73′ De Laet), Vines, Ekkelenkamp (62′ Nainggolan), Janssen (73′ Nsimba)
Union: Moris, Sykes (46′ Adingra), Burgess, Van der Heyden, Nieuwkoop (62′ François), Lynen (62′ Rodriguez), Teuma (77′ El Azzouzi), Lazare, Lapoussin, Vanzeir, Boniface (62′ Eckert Ayensa)
Goals: 8′ Nieuwkoop (own-goal, 1-0), 15′ Janssen (2-0), 23′ Van der Heyden (2-1), 42′ Vines (3-1), 45+3′ Janssen (pen. , 4-1), 71′ Eckert Ayensa (4-2)
Yellow cards: 90+3′ Haroun
Red cards: 38′ Lazare, 86′ El Azzouzi
Referee: Jonathan Lardot