RSC Anderlecht took part in the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup, organised by Southampton on Saturday 14th July 2012. The Purple & White won their first match 0-1 against Southampton, in the second game they lost to Arsenal with the smallest difference.
The Purple & White delegation left for Southhampton by plane on Saturday at 11 a.m. After a one-hour flight, players and staff landed safely in the rainy England. After a stop-over at the Hilton hotel, they headed for St Mary’s Stadium, where the Memorial Cup was scheduled.
The three teams took on each other in three matches which lasted 45 minutes each. The Purple & White played their first match at 5.15 p.m. local time, against the organising team. Sporting won with the smallest difference (0-1) against Southampton thanks to a goal by Tom De Sutter after fifteen minutes of play. Click here for the match facts of Southampton-RSCA.
An hour and a half - and a passage of the Olympic Flame - later, the second part took place. Sporting took on Arsenal and lost with the smallest difference (1-0). Ten minutes before the final whistle, Henri Lansbury scored the winning goal. Click here for the match facts of Arsenal-RSCA.
John van den Brom, the Purple & White coach, was fairly satisfied after both matches. "The results in practice games are not that important to me", he stated. "It is the play itself that interests me. And these two matches were the best I have seen of my team up until now. We were good when we had the ball, we remained calm, we created several opportunities and we scored in our first match", he said. "I am also rather pleased about the second 45 minutes. It is normal that the players were tired in the end, don’t forget that they had to wait 45 minutes between the two ‘halves’. I am satisfied with the progression we have made during the past weeks. I love football and we had a lot of ball possession today. Moreover, we made the right choices. What I have seen here, is very positive."
The match Southampton-Arsenal ended in a 1-1 draw and the Saints won with penalties (5-4). The Gunners (four points), like that, take the second edition of the Markus Liebherr Memorial Cup. Sporting have three points, Southampton two. After the prizes were awarded, the Purple & White returned to the airport and headed for Brussels by plane around 11 p.m. The delegation landed in Belgium around midnight.