Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Exclusive: Ole's reaction to drawing Club Brugge

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plenty of respect for Manchester United’s Europa League round-of-16 opponents, Club Brugge, after studying their performances in this season’s Champions League.

The Belgian side were paired with us during Monday afternoon’s glitzy ceremony at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland, with the ties due to be played at Jan Breydel Stadium on 20 February and then Old Trafford on 27 February. 

Club Brugge are entering the competition after their elimination from the European Cup, in which they finished third in Group A behind competition favourites Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

While our upcoming opponents were disappointed to earn only three points from 18, their results included an impressive 2-2 draw against Real at the imposing Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.

Solskjaer has seen Club Brugge in action this season and, when providing us with his exclusive reaction to the draw, the manager was complimentary about Philippe Clement’s team.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says

“I watched Club Brugge against PSG and Real Madrid. They did well in the Champions League and they stayed in most of the games, with one or two bad defeats."

“I watched Club Brugge against PSG and Real Madrid,”
says Ole.
“They did well in the Champions League and they stayed in most of the games, with one or two bad defeats.

“But they are a good team. They are top of the Belgian league and, funnily enough, I used to have their second goalkeeper, Ethan Horvath, at Molde so it will be good to see him again.  

“They will be tough games but you are always going to get tough games as you head into the knockout stages. We are hoping to go through to the last 16.”

MORE REACTION TO THE DRAW

Club Brugge are currently top of the Belgian Pro League after 18 matches, holding an eight-point advantage over second-placed Antwerp with a game in hand.

United ambassador Ji-sung Park attended the Europa League draw in Switzerland and he agrees with Solskjaer’s assessment of the Belgian team, stating the Reds will face a challenge next February.

“There is no easy team at this stage so we have to prepare well if we want to win,” the South Korean told BT Sport. “These days the team is doing well, performance-wise, so hopefully we can get a good result.

“A couple of years ago we won the trophy and we know how beneficial it is, particularly as you go directly into the Champions League.

“In this particular European competition, it is not easy and our young players are getting a great experience of going through in this tournament. Hopefully we can get another good result.”

How we beat Brugge in 2015Video

ROUND OF 32 IN FULL

Wolves v ECD Espanyol
Sporting v Istanbul Basaksehir
Getafe v AFC Ajax
Bayer Leverkusen v FC Porto
FC Copenhagen v Celtic
APOEL FC v FC Basel
Cluj v Sevilla FC
Olympiacos v Arsenal
AZ Alkmaar v Lask
Club Brugge v MANCHESTER UNITED
Ludogorets v Internazionale
Eintracht Frankfurt v Red Bull Salzburg
Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica
Wolfsburg v Malmo
AS Roma v KAA Gent
Rangers v SC Braga

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