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 5 - 2 . LA Galaxy

 Match Information 
 2015-08-18 (19:45) (ECup)  Manchester United 3–1 Club Brugge
  Venue: Old Trafford 
  Goals: Depay2; Fellaini1;  
  Lineup: Romero  Darmian  Smalling  Blind  Shaw  Schneiderlin  Carrick  Mata  Januzaj  Depay  Rooney 


Manchester United 3-1 Club Brugge
Posted by   Bill   on   2015-08-22 @ 17:21:09 -0600

Memphis Depay scored twice to inspire Manchester United to victory over Club Brugge in their Champions League play-off.

Brugge took a surprise first-leg lead through Michael Carrick's own goal.

But Depay drove in a low strike and brilliantly cut inside and curled in a 25-yard shot to put United ahead.

Brugge defender Brandon Mechele was sent off for two bookings after 80 minutes and Depay crossed for Marouane Fellaini to head in a late third.

The home side looked set to be frustrated in their attempts to add to Depay's double as the Dutchman ballooned a clear chance to claim his hat-trick.

But Fellaini came on as a late substitute for the out-of-sorts Wayne Rooney and finally turned United's superiority into a two-goal cushion going into next Wednesday's return leg.

Relive Man Utd's win over Club Brugge

How good was Depay?

This is the game in which United's £31m summer signing Depay announced himself to the Old Trafford fans - and he did it in some style.

He has been used just behind the main striker at times in his first two games but was in his more preferred left-wing role against Brugge - a move which paid off.

Depay should have completed his hat-trick, the easiest chance of his match, but shot high over the bar after a delightful Rooney back-flick.

"I am very happy for Memphis because a player needs that," said United boss Louis Van Gaal. "I said it was a matter of time and hopefully he shall continue. He is 21 and he has only played two seasons for PSV, I have confidence in him."
Memphis Depay
Is Rooney showing signs of improving?

England captain Rooney has been leading the line for United but there was little sign of his first goal of the campaign coming against Brugge.

He managed only one touch in the area during Friday's 1-0 win at Aston Villa and when chances did come his way against the Belgian side he had a volley hacked clear and glanced a header wide from a corner.

Some of Rooney's best work came outside the box, with one of his passes and a clever backheel setting up Depay for two excellent chances.

"He worked hard as Wayne Rooney always does but he looks like he has lost a little bit of belief in front of goal," said BBC Radio 5 live pundit Chris Waddle.

"He is snatching at things and doesn't look composed in front of goal and that must be a concern for manager Louis Van Gaal."
What can Man Utd expect in Brugge?

The Belgian side, who are four games into their league season, struggled to keep up when United upped the tempo.

Brugge, who need to win at least 2-0 next week, were not helped by captain and holding midfielder Timmy Simons going off injured and will also be without suspended first-choice centre-back Mechele.

They will also need influential playmaker Victor Vazquez, along with strikers Tuur Dierckx and Abdoulay Diaby, to show more attacking intent if they are to stand a chance of overturning their deficit - they managed just one attempt on goal and that was the own goal.

However, their Jan Breydel Stadium provides an intimidating atmosphere and manager Michel Preud'homme's side have won their three home matches so far this season.

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal on BT Sport: "We deserved much more because we created a lot of chances. It is what I am always saying, you have to be effective. We have a lot of chances and only three goals.

"I am happy because of the last goal. We have practised that before. We put him in the penalty area because he has that quality.

"It is not a simple opponent. It is still a game but, because of that last goal, it is more confident for us."

Club Brugge manager Michel Preud'homme on BT Sport: "You have a small chance at home but it is going to be very difficult. I know Fellaini, of course, and he is very strong in that situation.

"We tried to play with our qualities. We missed a lot of players. The red card was very far for me, it is difficult to see.

"If we have to miss our captain and central defender, with all our injured players, I don't see the solution to beat Manchester United."

The stats you need to know

The last three players to score two and assist one in a European game for Manchester United are Cristiano Ronaldo (2009), Rooney (2013) and now Depay (2015).
Nine of Memphis Depay's 30 club goals since the start of last season have come from outside the box.
Manchester United's last four home games against Belgian teams have seen them win 10-0, 3-0, 5-1 and 3-1.
Louis Van Gaal's side had 65% of possession, with eight of their 19 attempts on goal on target.

Pundit analysis

BBC Radio 5 live football correspondent John Murray: "What a disappointment for Club Brugge and their vibrant supporters, who thought they were going to have a real chance in Belgium before that last goal from Fellaini. Unconvincing from Manchester United but they have won 3-1."

Lineup, Bookings (6) & Substitutions (6)
Manchester United

20 Romero
36 Darmian Booked
12 Smalling Booked
17 Blind
23 Shaw
28 Schneiderlin
16 Carrick (Schweinsteiger - 45' )
08 Mata
11 Januzaj (Hernández - 72' )
07 Depay
10 Rooney (Fellaini - 84' )


14 Hernández
18 Young
21 Herrera
25 A Valencia
27 Fellaini
31 Schweinsteiger
50 Johnstone

Club Brugge

16 Bruzzese
21 Cools
04 Duarte
44 Mechele Dismissed after an earlier booking
28 De Bock
25 Vormer Booked
03 Simons (Claudemir - 40' )
55 Dierckx
07 Vázquez (Vanaken - 78' )
63 Bolingoli Mbombo Booked
10 Diaby (Oularé - 56' )


02 de Fauw
05 Castelletto
06 Claudemir
09 De Sutter
20 Vanaken
38 Bolat
58 Oularé

Ref: Deniz Aytekin

Take a chance with me
Posted by   PaulJ   on   2015-08-29 @ 7:01:23 -0600

Your vision, Hanot,
On a Manchester evening
Exciting us still.

It was a balmy night for the crunch match of our early season; a fight for the chance of playing in the most prestigious club competition of them all. It is the first time we have played Club Brugge KV. Founded in 1891 they have been Belgian Champions thirteen times and are the only Belgian club to have contested the final of the European Cup; they lost to Liverpool at Wembley in 1978, having lost the UEFA Cup final to the same club two years previously. They hold the record for consecutive seasons in the UEFA Cup (sixteen) and have won the Belgian Cup eleven times and the Belgian Super Cup thirteen times, both records. Last year they reached the quarter finals of the Europa League. They disposed of Panathinaikos in the earlier round and lie three points off the top of their league.

There being nothing to do in Bruges, no fine architecture, no buns, no triptych, no art, no canals, no cafes, no beer, no seafood, no chocolates, no Belgian Blue steaks, their supporters came over in their thousands to sample the cultural delights of Trafford Park and to make considerable noise. Had they not chanted for Liverpool, mocked us with our own songs and outsung us in our language as well as their own, they might have been endearing. As a result of their presence the match was played in a great atmosphere.

An unchanged team packed as much excitement into the first seven minutes of the match as we had witnessed in the whole of the season so far. We might have gone ahead in forty seconds; Adnan Januzaj’s cross was fast and low but Wayne Rooney slid in too late to meet it. Memphis Depay’s shot deflected and spooned into goalkeeper Sébastien Bruzzese’s hands. Januzaj turned Timmy Simons beautifully to get the ball to Memphis and when Chris Smalling outmuscled Abdoulay Diaby to put in a cross for Rooney things were looking marvellous even if Juan Mata’s back pass had drawn a gasp from the crowd when Sergio Romero stepped back onto his line to clear it. It seemed merely a minor irritation when Ruud Vormer threw himself to the floor and Victor Vasquez’s free kick from the touchline would indeed have been harmless had it not hit Januzaj and rolled to where Michael Carrick stretched out a leg to tuck it inside his own goalkeeper’s right hand post; 8 minutes 0-1.

The spectre of meaningless Thursday nights on Channel Five was beckoning; it had been sixteen months since our last European tie and we had forgotten the traditions, how in the days of ninety nine we used to give the opposition an early goal just to make a game of it. Now our team was unnerved and the Belgians strutted. Carrick seemed worst affected; a dreadful pass off the field, sliding in on Tuur Dierckx. We steadied, however, and kept possession patiently in their half of the field and it was Carrick who played a snap pass to Memphis on the left hand corner of their area. The young Dutchman took it on his chest, chipped Dion Cools, dribbled past Dierckx, Óscar Duarte and Brandon Mechele and stuck the ball fifteen yards into the bottom corner. Sing when you’re winning? The Belgian supporters had lost the plot for it was 13 minutes and only 1-1.

Our play flowed forward through Memphis and Mata, Januzaj and Matteo Darmian. A Memphis free kick deflected for a corner which Rooney met with an overhead kick. Vázquez hacked it clear and Rooney glanced his header wide at the next corner. The ball was steered smoothly between Darmian, Rooney and Mata but this time Duarte was too strong for Januzaj, who then failed to get to Memphis’ cross. Memphis’ cannonball was parried by Bruzzese. Our attacking, however, left us open. Cools was allowed a free header at a corner, Dierckx cut the ball dangerously across the face of our goal. Just as it looked as though we were running out of steam Daley Blind, whose passing had been superb, found the gap for Memphis, who cut back past Cools and from twenty yards curled a superb shot into the far top corner; 43 minutes 2-1.

At half time Bastian Schweinsteiger replaced Carrick and we played as if we would open up a comfortable lead to take across the channel. Luke Shaw had become a powerful attacker, Januzaj an experienced playmaker but Memphis for a while became cocky and despite some great entertainment the goals did not come. Januzaj did not see Shaw running free. We worked a shot for Mata but he was too far out and his effort lacked real power. Januzaj found Memphis but his attempt went wide. Memphis’ next shot was pushed round the post. Mata stroked a pass from the touchline for Rooney to turn and shoot.

Although Brugge were for the most part pinned back we were allowing them too much space on our left where a slower, less decisive full back than Shaw might not have coped with being isolated and outnumbered. As it turned out the danger came from elsewhere and we were but a referee’s decision from deep trouble. Morgan Schneiderlin’s back pass was a bit short but Romero could have dealt with it without making that worrying step backwards. Obbi Oularé was onto him. There may have been contact in the challenge but the goalkeeper was on his feet and healthy when he hastily passed the ball to Dierckx, unmarked on the edge of the area. It was the sight of Dierckx calmly sliding it to Vázquez for a tap-in that injured him; he suddenly collapsed on the floor in need of medical attention and, astonishingly, German referee Deniz Aytekin, a huge, fierce-looking fellow who had been performing like an officious PE teacher with a new whistle, bought the subterfuge. While the ball rolled into the United net and we put our heads in our hands in despair, there was the referee stopping the game. Belgians were not amused.

When Shaw was left exposed yet again he passed straight to Vormer but raced across the field to redeem himself, intercepted the hasty pass and belted up the opposite wing, playing a one-two with Mata and crossing for Rooney, who back heeled the ball for Memphis to slide in the goal of the season. He blasted it into the Stretford End but his showboating was done. He tricked his way past Cool and won a corner which he took and provided Schweinsteiger with an opportunity in front of the goal but the German could not pull the trigger. Louis van Gaal removed Januzaj from the fray to a great ovation and then, amazingly, replaced him with Javier Hernández. Our forward line looked better balanced with a genuine striker and Rooney in support and an optimistic thirty yard free kick by Memphis triggered another tradition; an old fashioned assault on the Stretford End goal. Hernández made a good run for Darmian, then he nearly found Memphis and then he enticed Michele to cut him down and the Belgian defender was sent off, his team reduced to ten men.

The siege was relentless. Smalling headed the corner over the bar, Marouane Fellaini came on for Rooney and made a nuisance of himself. When the officials signalled three minutes of added time we remembered another Old Trafford tradition for European nights; there is always one last great chance. It came when Vormer tripped Shaw. Darmian floated the free kick in, Schweinsteiger headed it back into the goalmouth but Smalling put his header straight into the ‘keeper’s hands. Those near us who then got up and left had forgotten the greatest of the traditions; we will never die. As “You’ll Never Walk Alone” rang out from the visiting supporters, Schweinsteiger fed Memphis and the Dutchman, seeing the referee putting the whistle into his mouth, slung in the cross which sailed over Duarte’s jump and found Fellaini’s firm head. The Stretford End net rippled, the hirsute giant stood with long arms aloft, his back to a cacophony of noise. From where the Liverpool anthem had come there was silence. There was only time for the formality of a restart before the night was done; 94 minutes 3-1.

It seemed at the time that we had scored the decisive goal in the tie but no-one of an age to remember Sporting Lisbon will be complacent; Denis Law murdered the Portuguese in that 1964 quarter final yet we managed to turn a 4-1 home win into a 4-6 aggregate defeat. Moreover, not since 1956 have we won a European Cup match in Belgium; our last two visits have ended in defeat. This tie is far from won.

Paul Andrew James


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