Manchester United took care of business quickly in the 2nd leg of their UEFA Europa League Round of 32 tie against Club Brugge, winning by an emphatic 5-0 score. The result saw impressive, goal-scoring performances from new signings Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo, and a very promising return to starting action from Scott McTominay.
United began the match with a flurry of chances, nearly scoring from a set piece in the opening minutes. Brugge keeper Simon Mignolet was forced into saves a couple of times in the first 10 minutes, with the most dangerous chance coming from Bruno Fernandes after the high press successfully forced the Brugge back line into a turnover.
Eventually United’s early press paid off. Brugge Centre back Simon Deli was sent off for handling the ball in front of his own goal, awarding the Red Devils a man advantage and a penalty. Bruno Fernandes calmly concerted for his 2nd from the spot in as many matches.
In the 34th minute Odion Ighalo doubled United’s lead, finishing off a fine move by both Bruno Fernandes and Juan Mata. Bruno lofted a through ball towards Mata at the back post, and the Spaniard calmly played it first time back across goal towards United’s newest arrival for his first goal for the club. Ighalo lifted his shirt to reveal an undershirt with a picture of his sister, who passed away recently, dedicating his goal to her.
A few minutes later Scott McTominay completed an emphatic first half with a goal of his own, with a clean first-touch finish from the edge of the area. It was Scotty McSauce’s first since returning from injury. United went into the break up 3-0 and in full control of the tie.
The second half began with a couple of scary opportunities for Brugge. United, who are notoriously bad at defending set pieces, were able to breathe a sigh of relief however as a corner opportunity sailed well over everyone’s heads, and United resumed their comfortable dominance of the match.
One venture forward saw Juan Mata place an ambitious ball ahead of Tahiti Chong in stride. Simon Mignole came out to meet him, and the result was a scary clash that saw Chong remain on the ground for a couple minutes. At this point Jesse Lingard replaced Bruno, giving the Portuguese Magnifico the last half hour off after another impressive performance. McTominay soon followed Bruno off the pitch, giving way to Mason Greenwood and sending a clear “this job is done” message from the dugout.
The closing minutes of the match saw United continue to create chances, and even bagged a 4th goal as Jesse Lingard set up Fred for a simple tap in. Lingard nearly got one for himself too, but was denied by Mignolet and a wandering Luke Shaw, who had overrun the play and found himself far too close to the Brugge goalkeeper. Tahith Chong also missed a chance to end a goal drought, sending his shot just wide in the 89th minute, and Fred finished things off with his second of the night in the last minute of stoppage time, completing a 5-0 victory.
Manchester United move onto the Round of 16 comfortably after a somewhat uncomfortable 1st leg result. However, with Anthony Martial added to the list of injured players they may face a personnel crisis at the weekend when they face Everton at Goodison Park.
They’ll learn who their next opponent will be tomorrow, Friday 28, 2020.