After the 3-0 pandering in October at Sclessin, Antwerp scored an even bigger score at home against Standard (4-0). “I think we can speak of an appropriate revenge,” said captain Toby Alderweireld. “We had a hard time in the first five minutes, because we thought Standard would play differently. But in the end we gave nothing away. After our opening goal we played well, with many chances and even more goals. This was a beautiful evening.”
Alderweireld picked up again with a strong performance, as if he had never been away. “Once back at Antwerp I tried to put World Cup history behind me and move on. This game was important to start well again. And it worked. This victory gives us confidence for the next few weeks. Next Tuesday we go to Westerlo for the win.”
And what about the next cup round? “For me, that will preferably be a home match, although in the end we only have one goal: to reach the final. So let the opposition come.”
Calvin Stengs excelled in a central role in unreleased midfield: “Collided with this occupation by accident”
It took some getting used to on Tuesday evening. Calvin Stengs did not act from his favorite right flank, but was dropped next to Arthur Vermeeren, centrally in midfield. A position switch that came about by accident last week. “In the friendly match against Kortrijk, Vermeeren, Ekkelenkamp and I suddenly found ourselves in midfield with the three of us because Yusuf and Gerkens fell out,” says the Dutchman. “It worked very well in that field occupation and the coach also wanted to start against Standard.”
The assignment that Stengs received from his coach? “I had to control the midfield together with Arthur, play forward and occasionally keep the peace. And I succeeded well, also that defensive task. I am amused. You also get to the ball more often, because you sometimes have to wait longer periods on the flank. I can make the game well and I succeeded now. Do I want to stay here? I can also play on the right and it is up to the coach to decide.”
Before the break, Stengs didn’t always seem to be overflowing with confidence, but that wasn’t noticeable against Standard. “If you start the game with an assist, it is always easier to play football. I wouldn’t call it a matter of trust,” he concluded.
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Jelle Bataille opens his account for Antwerp: “It’s about time, isn’t it”
Jelle Bataille put his team on its way to the cup victory against Standard with a nice cutting movement and ditto finish. “It’s about time, isn’t it,” laughed the Ostend player, who scored for the first time since he came to the Great Old in the summer of 2021.
“I had to wait 54 matches for this. That’s very long. Naturally, the discharge was great. As a right-footed player on the left, it is an advantage to be able to turn in and then kick. Before the break, our efficiency could actually be even better. We made up for that afterwards. Winning and pushing through was what counted today. So mission accomplished.”