With talented players like Haller, Kudus and Tadic, Sporting’s current flaws have come under the microscope. A big zoom which sometimes hurt the eyes. Especially since Vincent Kompany lined up a rejuvenated eleven, including six boys trained in Neerpede.
We must therefore not over-dramatize this indisputable setback. Ajax are too strong for Anderlecht and Anderlecht still have things to settle, a big week before the resumption of competition against the Union. Felice Mazzù was also one of the 6,000 spectators present, for the public’s great return to Parc Astrid. He did not make as much noise as the supporters, well in voice, but he was able to note several interesting elements in view of the derby.
The absence of a real nine at Sporting was even more noticeable than in previous matches. Because the opposition was stronger but above all because Kompany lined up an Amuzu-Verschaeren duo which hardly succeeded in existing. Even though he was less sharp than against AZ, Amuzu was the only one to get dangerous situations. By a one-two provoked in the quarter of an hour but that he could not conclude (15th) and by a duel lost against the goalkeeper after a good opening from Ashimeru where there was no offside unlike at the announcement of the referee (49th).
At the hour mark, Refaelov and Kiese Thelin came in to bring other weapons but failed to shake the Dutch defense. The arrival of Raman can only do good for the offensive sector. If he’s physically ready, he might even be pitched against the Union already. But the small size of the old Ghent will not be enough. Anderlecht will also need peak muscles, an attacker capable of being a fulcrum.
As is the case in every match in this preparation, Anderlecht conceded. The many small errors were sanctioned twice by the Ajacids. Twice by the powerful Haller, first on a service from Tadic who had too easily got rid of a stressed Mehssatou (7th) then thanks to a shift from Kudus (55th). The purple rearguard is brand new and it shows. Hoedt is in place and Kompany will still have to designate who will accompany him in the axis, between Debast, who was very good at the start, and Harwood-Bellis, absent on Friday.
Considering the football lesson taken against the Dutch champion, there is still work to be done in Anderlecht. On the training ground and behind the scenes. A creative number 8 wouldn’t be a luxury either given Ashimeru’s irregularities in Sambi Lokonga’s position. Against the Union on Sunday, Sporting will still be a little more in preparation than in competition.