RSC Anderlecht 2-0 Galatasaray AŞ
Chancel Mbemba scored towards the end of either half to assure Anderlecht of third in Group D and a place in the UEFA Europa League last 32.
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• Anderlecht seal third spot in Group D with 2-0 win against Galatasaray
• Centre-back Chancel Mbemba scores towards end of either half
• Les Mauves win only second home game in the competition in 11 years
• Galatasaray consigned to bottom place in the section
• Next games: Dortmund v Anderlecht, Galatasaray v Arsenal (9 December)
RSC Anderlecht made sure of a berth in the UEFA Europa League with a 2-0 victory against Galatasaray AŞ that nonetheless proved insufficient to prolong their UEFA Champions League push.
With Arsenal FC defeating Borussia Dortmund elsewhere in Group D, the Belgian side were left with third spot as the highest they could aim, but they went about that task with clear relish from the start. Chancel Mbemba finally made their pressure tell close to the interval with a diving header, and added a second with four minutes left. The centre-back's double brought Anderlecht only their second home win in the competition since 2003.
Mindful that this match was being billed as the biggest of their season, the hosts made an appropriately dynamic start, spurred on by a noisy crowd as they zipped about the pitch. Those fans almost had an early breakthrough to enjoy as well, Aleksandar Mitrović heading over from Dennis Praet's diagonal ball before failing to connect completely after Frank Acheampong had teed him up in front of goal.
Despite that slip, the initial signs were encouraging for Les Mauves, save for momentary jitters at the back as Galatasaray sought a counterpunch. Wesley Sneijder was doing his best to orchestrate the visitors' attacking threat, and also curled a free-kick narrowly wide, yet it was Anderlecht who were closing in on their objective.
Youri Tielemans tested Fernando Muslera from a set piece and the pressure mounted further when Steven Defour sent a volley bobbling into a post – and then watched as the ball span across the goal line and brushed the other upright. Galatasaray could only hold out for so long and a minute before the break they cracked, Mbemba lunging to nod in after Mitrović had flicked Ibrahima Conté's cross into his path.
Cimbom needed to improve radically if they hoped to stave off defeat, and they duly made a brighter start to the second period, with Silvio Proto required to bat away a free-kick from Selçuk İnan, thwarting Burak Yılmaz with his legs and also sprawling left to deny Hamit Altıntop.
Anderlecht were not in the mood to be dictated to, though, and Praet tested Muslera with a low effort at the other end, while Mitrović perhaps ought to have done better with a header aimed directly at the Uruguayan goalkeeper. Burak nearly punished that profligacy when he raced onto a lofted pass and grazed the bar with an acrobatic attempt, but a second yellow card for Selçuk İnan and Mbemba's second helped the Brussels club see out a precious win.