Home » Club Brugge forgets to reward itself against PAOK, and the return match in the Greek cauldron promises to be difficult

Club Brugge forgets to reward itself against PAOK, and the return match in the Greek cauldron promises to be difficult

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The entire stadium held its breath. Igor Thiago prepared himself for a penalty fifteen minutes before the end to make it 2-0. Everyone knew: this could go wrong. It did. The out-of-form striker kicked straight at the keeper.

It is to be hoped that Club Brugge will not regret this mistake when it visits next week in a cauldron…

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It put a dampener on the good atmosphere that had prevailed until then. We can tell a lot about the old Jan Breydel barracks, and it will largely be negative, but what is certainly positive are the people who are there among the concrete rot. Especially now that they have reunited with the team, the vibe at Olympia is great. It was like that against Anderlecht, also against PAOK.

It is only right that Club Brugge is once again in the hearts of the supporters, because the performances are excellent these days. Not every cross is clean, duels are still being lost, but at least there is an idea and a lot of dedication – just about everything that was missing under ex-coach Ronny Deila.

We have discussed the Club DNA several times in this place – because it was too rarely seen. Well, Nicky Hayen, a Limburger, has brought it back.

Club Brugge-PAOK was barely six minutes away and blue-black, with surprising Spileers, De Cuyper and Jutglà in the starting line-up, was already ahead. After a clever combination, Jutglà found Vetlesen in the box (1-0). There was suddenly a funereal atmosphere in the visitors’ section: those fanatical Greeks could certainly be silenced.

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Club was the dominant team during the entire first half. It did not create a truckload of chances – a sliding Thiago came closest to making it 2-0 – but at no time did you get the feeling that PAOK could claim the equalizer. Goalkeeper Nordin Jackers was technically unemployed, Club was in control.

Hat, mittens, thick coat

PAOK is first in the Greek competition, they are playing a European quarter-final, they can’t be losers anyway. However, this was only seen sporadically in Bruges.

Razvan Lucescu, PAOK’s coach, stood on the sidelines as if he were going on an expedition to Greenland. Hat, mittens, thick coat. Hayen chose jeans and a pullover. It says nothing and yet a lot. Overall, Club seemed much more ready for this match than the opponent, as was also the case last Sunday against RSCA.

The excess weight did not translate on the scoreboard. Club came into the zone of truth more than once, but it remained only 1-0. If you’re that much better, then…

As mentioned, even from the spot Club failed to deepen the bonus. Thiago is a strange idiot. He is important with his ability to work and ball retention – he will be suspended next week, Club will miss him – but at the same time it is a mystery to every observer why Brentford is willing to pay 37 million euros for this attacker. Half could have sufficed, right? In any case, since the transfer was announced, he has not found his way to the net anymore – worrying.

Good collective

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Thiago played himself to the lowest rating at Club. The rest received a good score – Club was collectively at a high level. After Anderlecht it suddenly became about Hans Vanaken, because Club apparently wins easily without him, but he proved that every team in Belgium is better with him than without him. Vetlesen and Onyedika were also good, Mechele showed leadership, Skoras and Sabben form a nice duo…

In Greece, the same names will have to be at the appointment again. Club will have to be one hundred percent to reach the semi-finals.

It’s possible. Apparently everything is possible again since Hayen took over – congratulations for that. But nothing has been decided, because Club forgot to reward themselves. If only Thiago had done his job…

© Isosport

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