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Gent starts the Europa League with a great win against Saint Etienne



Everything seemed like hell at AA Gent on the opening day of the Europa League against the French Saint Etienne until goalkeeper Thomas Kaminski made an unnecessary mistake. In the end, Ghent held its ground and won 3-2, leaving the Buffalos unbeaten in-house.

“It was an emotional competition. As a trainer, such matches make you a few years older. It was shivering until the end. Fortunately, we did it successfully ”, coach Jess Thorup stated during the press conference.

“Everyone knew that this was a very important competition. We started that perfectly. After a few ball keys,Gent starts the Europa League with a great win against Saint Etienne it was already 1-0. In other words, a dream start. We walked further to 2-1 and then you go into peace. Then you discuss how we are going to tackle the next forty-five minutes. Then the 3-1 follows and you think the loot is inside because you keep the ball constantly in your own ranks. Not so. We gave Saint-Étienne the opportunity to come back in the match. And then the shock struck to lose. Fortunately, the fans went a bit more behind us and the team, so that we could still take the win. Important three points. “

Stopwatch in hand and … TAK. 4’36 “. It didn’t even take five full minutes for the Ghelamco Arena to welcome the first fantasy: a ball behind the supporting leg, drawn by Roman Yaremchuk. It was difficult for Vadis Odjidja to stay behind last Sunday against KV Mechelen six, seven, eight times in his stride. Where the Buffalos had stopped after ninety minutes, they seemed to continue from the first minute yesterday evening.

Sound in the hand

Because it was possible. Three minutes earlier the ball had already disappeared into the basket. A goal from Jonathan David, the end result after a stiff run by Yaremchuk on the left flank, but the real life’s work by Elisha Owusu, who just recovered the ball and put three men on the wrong track. If Moses Simon was the man of twenty million at the time, then we dare not ask Michel Louwagie what amount he is already placing on the head of the French midfielder.

Yes, it worked with the home team. Once again. And then you forget a lot. The incorrect arrangement that was distributed in the press room last Sunday, for example. Or the music transitions that were not quite right during the build-up to the competition. Not to mention the latch of the press room, which the undersigned suddenly had in his hand when he left the building. Small, practical things that are no-nonsense if everything works in the field.

Because it does. Work, rotate, click together. After the opening goal against Saint-Étienne, Ghent freewheeled through the match. With not too much threat, but with dominance. Also helped by the three-man defense, which brought the visitors to the mat. Knowing that both Yaremchuck and Laurent Depoitre constantly searched those spaces on the flanks, that did not seem to be the best move. In the meantime, we were far away for half an hour and our victory speech was already taking shape.

But then. A new heel. Odjidja this time. Ball loss on the own half and Ghent just out of position. Saint-Étienne cleverly played Romain Hamouma for a long time, who played perfectly against Wahbi Khazri. Searing was his swipe: 1-1. No reason. Redundant.

Not that everything is a rose odor and moonshine in the system of AA Gent – too often the rear balls do not find a solution and Michael Nadeau also makes a mistake every week in the defense – but this simply did not have to. The enthusiasm and the aura of invincibility that gradually formed melted like snow in the sun. Deadly sin.

Fortunately, there was another heel for rest. Van Depoitre this time. He was sent away cleverly on the right and laid the ball ready for David with a perfect touch. Yes, that again. A shot, a new goal.

The ninth of the season for the Canadian and another one that came about after collaboration with a member of the peak duo Yaremchuk-Depoitre. What a trinity that attacking compartment of Ghent this season anyway. Smooth scoring, smoothly distributing assists, smoothly finding each other, smoothly present in the sixteen. The performance of the three attackers even inspired AA Gent’s communication channels to create a new hashtag: #DYD. It is not yet #MSN or # CR7, but bon: you will not immediately find much better by Belgian standards.

Flater Kaminski

Anyway, all this was only one half. After the break, everything could turn. It also seemed that this would happen as Ghent became anxious, less precise, less dominant, more focused on the defense. Real opportunities did not yield that, but the constant threat kept the stadium by the throat. Up to the hour. Until a stationary phase – a free-kick – came to Loïc Perrin via Mikael Lustig, who couldn’t help but incorporate the ball into his own goal. Nothing says more ‘dominance’ than your standard situations that are on the point. 3-1. Afterward, it didn’t go wrong anymore. In spite of a jumble of a drunk of Thomas Kaminski– the kind that you make only once in your career – despite a switch to a three-man defense and the corresponding drop back, despite a ball on the pole of one Robert Beric, despite quite a bit of shudder.

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