Odion Ighalo is congratulated by Scott McTominay.

United 5 Club Brugge 0 (AGG:6-1)

Thursday 27 February 2020 21:58

Manchester United clinically steamrollered Club Brugge 5-0 at Old Trafford to send us through to the last 16 of the Europa League.

First-half goals from Bruno Fernandes, with his second penalty in five days, a first United strike for Odion Ighalo and a comeback goal for Scott McTominay swept aside the Belgians.

Brugge had Simon Deli sent off for the handball that gave Bruno his spot-kick and the Reds took full advantage of the extra man.

Fred scored twice in the second half to complete the rout, his first goals of the season, as United strolled to a 6-1 aggregate win.

It was a hectic and entertaining start to the second leg with both United and Brugge posting early goal threats.

Juan Mata was the first to fire on target with a fierce left-foot drive saved by ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

The visitors' response was to storm towards the other end and United’s defence looked at sea but David Okereke couldn’t finish and Luke Shaw cleared the danger.

Inevitably, new crowd favourite Fernandes was prominent, hitting a post, via a touch by Mignolet, and having another shot also saved. Sandwiched between the Portuguese star’s chances, Mats Rits squandered another gilt-edged opening for Brugge when lofting over from Sergio Romero's punch.

All that before 15 minutes was on the clock!

United went ahead after a delayed penalty. Daniel James’s shot was spectacularly saved by defender Simon Deli, who launched himself at the effort to get a hand to it, clearly not realising Mignolet was behind him, mirroring his leap.

Referee Serdar Gozubuyuk red-carded Deli but then, as Fernandes steadied himself for the spot-kick, the official went over to review the sending off on the pitchside monitor. His decision stood but it was four minutes from the initial award before Fernandes finally struck home after his trademark stroll-and-skip style after 22 minutes.

Fernandes was inevitably also involved in United’s second as he picked out Mata, who squared the ball for Ighalo to open his United goal account from six yards out in the 34th minute. The Nigerian loan star almost got his second, four minutes later, but Mignolet saved well.

Scott McTominay, making his first start since his Boxing Day injury, completed a clinical half for the Reds as he side-footed in the third after 41 minutes from the edge of the area, wrong-footing Mignoley after Fred's square ball created the opening.

Bruno Fernandes is airborne before converting from the penalty spot.

There was understandably a tail off in the action in the second half as the merciless face of the Reds faded and allowed 10-man Brugge to perform a damage-limitation job for a spell.

The manager took the opportunity to give some players a breather with James going off at half-time for Tahith Chong and, later, scorers Fernandes and McTominay were relieved of their duty by Jesse Lingard and Mason Greenwood.

With nine minutes remaining, sub Lingard squared for Fred to slot home with a simple finish, taken in his stride with aplomb. Lingard, Greenwood and Chong also had efforts but it was Fred who also struck the fifth. Another slick move unhinged the Brugge defence and Fred thumped in an inviting pass from Chong to round things off nicely and ensure United will be a team to fear in Friday's draw.

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Fred and Scott McTominay were both among the goals at Old Trafford.


United: Romero; Wan-Bissaka, Bailly, Maguire (c), Shaw; McTominay (Greenwood 72), Fred; Mata, Fernandes (Lingard 65), James (Chong 45); Ighalo.

Subs not used: De Gea, Lindelof, Williams, Matic

Goals: Fernandes 26 (pen), Ighalo 34, McTominay 41, Fred 81.

Club Brugge: Mignolet, Mata (Mitrovic 62), Mechele, Deli, Ricca, Kossounou, Vanaken, Rits (De Ketelaer 72), Tau (Diatta 62), De Cuyper, Okereke.

Subs not used:
Horvath, Sobol, Diatta,  Krmencik, Schrijvers

Sent off: Deli