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Kompany's managerial career starts in defeat as Anderlecht lose season opener

16:20 BST 28/07/2019
Vincent Kompany Anderlecht 2019-20
The player-manager had a rude awakening in the first game since he left Manchester City, shocked at home in the Belgian Pro League by lowly Oostende

Vincent Kompany’s start to life as player-manager at Anderlecht did not go as planned as his side were beaten 2-1 at home to minnows Oostende.

In the opening game of their Belgian Pro League campaign, Anderlecht took an early lead through Michel Vlap but saw the game turn around late on against the side that finished third from bottom last year.

Ronald Vargas equalised after 20 minutes before second-half substitute Fashion Sakala bagged the winner with 15 minutes to go.

The former Manchester City captain played the full 90 minutes, while his old City teammate Samir Nasri came on for the final half-hour but was unable to make an impact.

Nasri played alongside Kompany for six years at the Etihad and spent the second half of last season back in the Premier League with West Ham, but he may need to play his way back to full fitness after making just five league appearances for the Hammers.

For the 33-year-old Kompany, it will have been a rude awakening and an early reminder that football management isn’t as easy as it looks.

He signed a three-year deal with Belgium’s most successful club after deciding to leave Manchester on a high following their historic domestic treble last season.

His bolt-from-the-blue winner against Leicester to help stave off Liverpool’s relentless title challenge was enough to convince him that he was never likely to see a better time to sign off in style.

Whether City boss Pep Guardiola will be on the phone with words of advice will likely remain between them, but Kompany has an enviable list of top managerial contacts in his phone if he does want to turn elsewhere for pointers.

Regardless, his various successes at City are likely to mean that one defeat isn’t enough to overly concern him, particularly with his new squad settling into an unusual coaching situation.

Anderlecht travel to Royal Excel Mouscron next weekend as they go in search of a first Pro League title since 2017. Their total of 34 league championships is more than double their nearest competitor, while reigning champions Genk added just a fourth to their tally this year.

Anderlecht are at home in their first derby of the season, hosting Standard Liege in matchday six on September 1.