Club Brugge end 11-year Belgian title wait

15 May

Club Brugge KV have won their 14th Belgian title and their first in 11 years after beating closest rivals Anderlecht 4-0 at home to end the race with two games remaining.

Michel Preud’homme’s side went into the game knowing victory would leave them six points clear and out of reach, and they duly took the lead on 24 minutes as French forward Abdoulay Diaby headed in from a Thomas Meunier cross.

The former LOSC striker then chipped beyond goalkeeper Silvio Proto six minutes later, and Club Brugge made sure of the result in the second half as Hans Vanaken headed in, before captain Timmy Simons converted a penalty.

That sealed the Blauw-Zwart’s first Belgian crown since 2004/05 and earned them a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League group stage, making up for their Belgian Cup loss to Standard Liège on 20 March.

Although Anderlecht can still finish on the same points total in the championship play-off group, the Brussels outfit had a half-point rounded up when the top six club’s tallies were halved at the end of the regular season – and that half-point would be deducted in the event of a tied finish.

“It was only at 3-0 that I could relax, as you know Anderlecht can always still do something at 2-0,” said Preud’homme, who also helped Standard end their lengthy wait for the title in 2007/08. “My title with Standard after 25 years was fantastic, but I have the same feelings here now. You could feel people’s hunger.

“Today we restored our honour after 11 years without a title. I really wanted to do this for the Club Brugge supporters, who are very dear to me. Even when things weren’t as good, they always supported me. It’s also fantastic that Club now will play in the Champions League. But first let’s see what’s going to happen today – I have a feeling it’s going to be a crazy night. Or even a crazy week.”


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