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Anderlecht held at Timişoara

FC Timişoara 0-0 RSC Anderlecht
Nothing could separate the teams that began the day bookending
Group A in a match that made up in effort what it lacked in quality.

Anderlecht coach Ariël Jacobs endured a frustrating evening
Anderlecht coach Ariël Jacobs endured a frustrating evening ©Getty Images

Honours finished even in Romania with nothing to separate the sides that began the day bookending Group A, RSC Anderlecht and FC Timişoara.

Lack of quality
In a match that made up in endeavour what it lacked in quality, both teams enjoyed periods of dominance and the only real difference came in clear-cut chances: Anderlecht enjoying two to Timişoara's one. Crucially, however, none were taken and the draw means that despite ending strongly the visitors fall behind new section leaders AFC Ajax, although both sit on five points.

Home comfort 
Timişoara ended the day as they started it – propping up Group A – but not through lack of trying. For much of the first half Ioan Ovidiu Sabău's side were dominant. With Dan Alexa pulling the strings in midfield they laid siege to the Anderlecht goal but the visitors, defending in numbers, ensured clear openings were at a premium. One did fall to Artavazd Karamyan just after the half-hour, as Éder Bonfim's cross found him with the goal at his mercy. The Armenian international could not be accused of failing to get over his header as he directed it into the ground and still cleared the crossbar by five metres.

Suárez miss 
He was equally culpable at the other end, as Anderlecht enjoyed rare respite four minutes before half-time, dallying deep inside a crowded penalty box. Mbark Boussoufa pounced but with only the goalkeeper to beat he opted to square to the offside Romelu Lukaku rather than take it on himself – it was a huge reprieve. Karamyan almost made amends from distance after the restart, though Anderlecht gradually gained a stranglehold. They should have claimed all three points midway through the period when substitute Matías Suárez turned Daré Nibombé but, one-on-one with Costel Pantilimon, he blazed high and wide.