Belgian First Division: Liege run continues
Standard Liege extended their unbeaten streak away from home to eight games with a 2-0 win over Club Brugge in the Belgian First Division.
Michy Batshuayi and Yoni Buyens scored for Liege in an impressive first half on Monday, which gave the visitors a perfect start to the top-tier playoffs in Belgium.
The victory helped Standard get to within five points of second-placed Zulte-Waregem, while Club Brugge have dropped to bottom spot in the top six.
Liege headed to Brugge having won their past two matches away from home and took a step toward a third-consecutive victory on the road when Batshuayi scored the opening goal in the 31st minute.
A free-kick from the halfway line was brilliantly controlled by Imoh Ezekiel on his chest and the Nigerian teenager squared the ball to Batshuayi near the penalty spot, who smashed it into the net with his instep.
Brugge were left frustrated throughout the opening half as Liege played on the break and never pulled out of tackles, resulting in three yellow cards for the visitors.
The hosts' frustration grew in first-half stoppage time when Buyens doubled Standard's lead.
Daniel Opare chased down a long pass on the right wing, just stopping the ball from going out for a goal-kick, switched back onto his left foot and curled a cross onto Buyens head, who flicked his header past Brugge goalkeeper Vladan Kujovic.
Despite Brugge's best efforts in the second half they were unable to bridge Liege's two-goal gap and the visitors held on for their fifth victory away from Stade Maurice Dufrasne since they last lost on the road.
The victory took Standard from bottom of the top-tier playoffs standings to third on 28 points.
Brugge are bottom on 27, behind fifth-placed Lokeren on goal difference, while Anderlecht, who have a game in hand, lead with 34 points.
More to follow...