Difficult but necessary. Club Brugge won 2-0 over Lugano and the European winter was assured. Thiago scored the opening goal from eleven metres, and Vanaken provided certainty in the final stretch. Important side note: The Blue-Black’s game was below par again before halftime.
Club Brugge – Lugano in brief:
- Key moment: Igor Thiago won the penalty kick after the hour mark and confidently scored it into the net. Signal to Club Brugge to loosen the tightened belt.
- Man of the match: Every time his club gets tough, Hans Vanaken rises again. Once again to close out the European winter once and for all in extra time. Even if it was a free kick that changed direction and entered the goal.
- statistics: It seems that this has become a certainty. Club Brugge’s European match = goal by Hans Vanaken. The club’s consistent captain scored a goal in every group match.
- Qualification for the next round: Thanks to the defeat to Besiktas, Club Brugge is now the first Belgian club in Europe to ensure that the winter period is over thanks to a sluggish win.
Hesitant in the first half
As it had done throughout the entire season, the club also wanted to use this Conference League fixture to restore confidence. Deila rotated and recruited 6 new players compared to the poor performance in Al-Ittihad, hoping to turn things around again.
From the start of the match, that hope disappeared as quickly as it came. Gradually a murmur arose from the audience. I watched a reluctant Club Brugge search for speed in the game and confidence in their football. The passes didn’t arrive, and the fouls piled up.
With Lugano, the club got a good sparring partner, because the Swiss club is also in a slump and certainly has not performed better in football.
Just half an hour later, Klopp fired his first shot on target, but it flew wide. Only at the end of the first half did Zinkernagel have the chance to take the lead, but the Lugano goalkeeper made a good reaction.
After the break, the club seemed to realize that they did not have to expect much resistance from Lugano and so Deila pushed his men forward with Jutgla as an additional striker.
The Catalan’s contribution created chances almost immediately: his shot was too weak to beat Saipe, and a cross/volley from Zinkernagel was cleared just short of the goal line.
When Buchanan threatened to storm the 16th, he was briefly taken advantage of. Enough for the Hungarian referee to point to the penalty spot. Thiago converted the penalty kick thanks to him and scored his first goal in the group stage of the Conference League.
The Brazilian managed to completely end the European winter, but he shot a ball in his place towards a defender. Gutgla also seemed to have forgotten how to score a goal: the shot over the goal, the ball into the goal, and even the penalty kick did not add to his stats. Espinoza forced Mignolet to parade with cannon fire.
It was then up to the man who has captured all of Club Brugge’s statistics this season. Hans Vanakken’s deflected free kick still fluttered into the net during extra time.
2-0. With no frills, the club qualifies for the next round of the Conference League and that is what ultimately matters. Della can breathe again.
Reactions after the Club Brugge and Lugano match:
Vanakin: “Next year no one will remember it was a lucky goal”
- Simon Mignolet: “The first half without confidence: that’s the situation we’re in. After that you can play football a little less freely than you want. Fortunately, we stayed calm and settled. Then you see that we have the qualities to play well.”
- Hans Vanaken: “Those 4 goals in 4 European matches is a nice statistic for me. In a year, no one will know it was a lucky goal, but it will still look good again. Now let’s hope first place and then the group stage will be successful, a 2-0 win and the net Clean and qualifying should give us confidence on Sunday against Cercle.”
- Ronnie Della: “The goal was achieved, but we want to finish first. In the first half, I felt we still lacked some confidence, but in the second half it was much better. I’m proud of that. As always, here it is Happy coach“.
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