Manchester United 5-0 Club Brugge: Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo on target as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side cruise into Europa League last-16
- Bruno Fernandes opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Deli was sent off for handball
- Odion Ighalo then made it 2-0 after he converted Juan Mata’s pull back in the six yard box
- Scott McTominay side-footed home from 18 yards to make it 3-0 on 41 minutes and put United out of sight
- Fred added two late goals to add gloss to the scoreline and ensure United eased their way into the last-16
What on earth was Simon Deli thinking? What possessed the Club Brugge defender to commit one of the most idiotic handball offences of this or any other season to present Manchester United with a place in the last 16 of the Europa League?
The tie was evenly balanced at 0-0 on the night and 1-1 on aggregate up to that pivotal moment. In attempting to impersonate his goalkeeper Simon Mignolet – who had actually performed very well without any assistance until then – Deli gifted United a penalty and got himself sent off.
It began when Luke Shaw retrieved an over-hit pass from Scott McTominay in the 22nd minute and played the ball into the box. Bruno Fernandes flicked it to Daniel James who curled a shot towards the far corner.
Bruno Fernandes made it 1-0 from the penalty spot after Deli was sent off for a bizarre and avoidable handball on 24 minutes
Odion Ighalo then opened his account for United when he tapped home Juan Mata’s pull back to make it 2-0 on 34 minutes
Scott McTominay’s side-footed home an excellent 18-yard effort shortly before half-time put United out of sight
Mignolet saw it and began to dive but must have thought his eyes were deceiving him when Ivory Coast international Deli made an identical dive in front of him and stretched out his left arm to turn the ball away.
The look of horror on the face of Brugge coach Philippe Clement said it all as Dutch referee Serdar Gozubuyuk pointed to the spot and reached for the red card. Already without their danger man Emmanuel Dennis and captain Ruud Vormer, his team were down to 10 men for the best poast of 70 minutes.
As if the incident itself wasn’t farcical enough, Gozubuyuk then went to the touchline to review it on a monitor. Was there really any debate?
Manchester United v Club Brugge
MAN UTD (4-2-3-1): Romero 5.5; Wan-Bissaka 6.5, Bailly 7, Maguire 7, Shaw 6; Fred 7, McTominay 7 (Greenwood 72, 6); Mata 7, Fernandes 8 (Lingard 65, 6), James 7 (Chong 46, 7); Ighalo 7. Subs: De Gea, Lindelof, Williams, Lingard, Matic, Greenwood.
Scorers: Fernandes pen 27, Ighalo 34, McTominay 41, Fred 81 , 90+3
Manager: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 7
CLUB BRUGGE (3-5-2): Mignolet 6.5; Mata 6 (Mitrovic 62, 6), Mechele 6, Deli 3; Kossounou 4.5, Ricca 6.5, Rits 5.5 (De Ketelaere 79, 6), Vanaken 6.5, De Cuyperv6; Tau 6 (Diatta 62, 6), Okereke 6.5. Subs: Horvath, Sobol, Krmencik, Schrijvers.
Sent off: Deli
Manager: Philippe Clement 5.5
Referee: Serdar Gozubuyuk (Holland) 7
By the time Fernandes stepped up to take the penalty nearly five minutes had elapsed. Four days after scoring his first United goal from the spot, the £68 million man showed the same coolness and the same technique – short run-up, big hop, firm finish – to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side ahead.
The painful part for Brugge was that they had been right in the game up to that point.
In a frantic opening at Old Trafford, the Belgian League leaders so nearly scored a repeat of their route one goal in the first leg at home last week when Mignolet’s long punt upfield gave David Okereke a clear sight of Sergio Romero’s goal.
Mats Rits then guided an effort over after the United’s No.2 keeper had punched Hans Vanaken’s cross to him in front of goal.
United were on top and had their chances too as Mignolet saved from Juan Mata and then twice from Fernandes, the second time touching the ball against the post.
If Deli’s act of lunacy didn’t end the contest, it certainly swung the balance dramatically in United’s favour and they were home and dry by half-time.
Fernandes has had an immediate impact on this United team and he had a hand in their second and third goals before the interval.
The Portuguese playmaker twisted and turned on the edge of the area in the 34th minute before clipping a pass to the back post. Mata let it drop before guiding the ball back across goal for Odion Ighalo to convert from close range.
Fernandes was outstanding in the first half as he pulled the strings from his No 10 role
The midfielder produced an excellent feint before placing his penalty past Simon Mignolet
Ighalo slid home Juan Mata’s pull back from six yards to score his first goal since joining club
The boyhood United fan was making his full debut in place of Anthony Martial, who was injured in training on Wednesday, after joining on loan from Shanghai Shenhua in January at the age of 30.
Ighalo’s delight at scoring was clearly shared among his team-mates and Solskjaer in the dugout as the Nigerian striker raced to the touchline to celebrate, lifting his jersey to reveal a T-shirt tribute to his sister Mary who passed away in December.
The fight had drained out of the visitors and they conceded another sloppy goal in the 41st minute. Odilon Kossounou gave the ball away close to his own corner flag and Fernandes was onto it quickly.
McTominay marked his first start since returning from injury with a well taken goal
Fred added two second half goals as United romped to a comfortable 5-0 win at Old Trafford
Victory sealed a 6-1 aggregate win and United’s place in the last-16 of the Europa League
He played the ball inside to Fred who set up McTominay and the young midfielder marked his first start since Boxing Day following a knee injury by guiding a shot inside Mignolet’s right-hand post.
United were comfortable enough to send on Tahith Chong at half-time and take off Fernandes in the 65th minute – while Chong was receiving treatment after being flattened by Mignolet – to keep their new signing fresh for Everton on Sunday.
Fred made it four in the 82nd minute when he side-footed into an empty net from Jesse Lingard’s cross after Bruges had again given away possession close to their own goal, and added a fifth from the edge of the box in added time when he was teed up by the impressive Chong.
So United go through in Europe, as expected. Having started the tie as favourites, they didn’t need a helping hand. Only Deli knows why he game them one.
Source: Read Full Article