Europa League - Round of 32 - 1st Leg
Club Bruges1Man Utd1

Club Bruges 1-1 Manchester United: We were sloppy, says United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Anthony Martial scores against Club Bruges
Martial scored for the second successive game after getting the opener in Monday's 2-0 win at Chelsea

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt his side were "a bit sloppy" as they drew 1-1 with Club Bruges in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie in Belgium.

The visitors started poorly and fell behind when Emmanuel Dennis lobbed Sergio Romero early in the first half.

United equalised when Anthony Martial raced through to beat ex-Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet one-on-one.

"I don't think it was one of the best games anyone's seen," Solskjaer said.

"It was a difficult game against a well-organised team in difficult conditions.

"We got an away goal, we got a draw. We go home next week so hopefully we can finish the job."

The game was played in heavy rain and strong wind for large periods, while Solskjaer also felt the ball that is used in Europa League games did not help improve the quality of football on display.

"I think you can ask any of the players, that ball doesn't help anyone play football," he added.

"It's just different and difficult to play with. You can get one and try!

"But it's the same for the two teams, of course. But the conditions weren't nice, the wind and the rain."

The two sides will meet again at Old Trafford on 27 February.

Martial puts below-par United in driving seat

After back-to-back Premier League defeats in January, Manchester United have enjoyed an upturn in form in recent weeks with three wins and a draw in their four games before the trip to Belgium.

An impressive 2-0 win at Chelsea on Monday gave United the ideal platform to build on but six changes to that side threatened to disrupt any momentum they were building and so it proved as the visitors put in a disjointed and uninspiring performance for large periods of this game.

United's three-man defence - particularly in the opening half hour - looked fragile and exposed and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side failed to heed an early warning when Nigerian striker Dennis got in on the right before Victor Lindelof scrambled away.

Consequently, they were punished after 15 minutes when Mignolet launched a pass down the pitch and Dennis got in between two defenders before coolly lifting the ball over the onrushing Romero.

From then on Bruges looked certain to add to their lead as United struggled to settle but a mistake at the back was clinically pounced on by Martial as he ran on to a poor throw-in, outpaced a defender before beating Mignolet at his near post.

Martial has often struggled to live up to the high expectations placed upon him when United paid £36m to sign the forward from Monaco in 2015, making him the most expensive teenager in world football.

However, he was the standout United player in this game and was unlucky not to add a second when Mignolet pushed his shot onto the post just before half-time.

Martial has now scored in back-to-back games and, with 14 goals to his name already, he is on course to surpass his previous best tally for a season - the 17 he scored in his debut campaign for United in 2015-16.

Another positive to come from the game was the late cameo from Bruno Fernandes. The Portugal midfielder - signed from Sporting Lisbon in January - was introduced with nine minutes to go but his desire to get the ball and his positive, forward thinking was yet another indication that he can become a key player for United in the coming seasons.

Dennis shines for bold Bruges

Emmanuel Dennis misses a chance against Manchester United
Dennis was linked with a move to the Premier League in January

Club Bruges went into this game as a side in form. The Belgians are the runaway leaders in their domestic league and were unbeaten in their 12 previous games in all competitions.

The confidence such a good run provides was evident from the outset as they took the game to United, led by the hugely impressive Dennis.

The Nigeria international has shown he is a player for the big occasions, having scored two goals against Real Madrid in the Champions League this season - before Bruges dropped into the Europa League - and he was unfortunate not to finish with a couple of goals on Thursday.

His quick feet and good close control was a constant menace to the visiting defence and he will be the player Solskjaer's side will need to be the most wary of if they are to avoid an upset in the return leg.

Man of the match - Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial scores against Club Bruges
Martial worked hard in a first half in which his team-mates struggled to have an impact and his goal could prove crucial

'Right to make changes' - what they said

Philippe Clement, Club Bruges coach: "At this moment I am not concerned whether we could qualify or not next week. We still have three games coming up in nine days.

"At least I want my players to show courage and guts in Manchester. It's important for the guys to have that experience and then we will see. We still need the same luck there as for the game today."

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, speaking to BT Sport: "It was a game with difficult conditions. We gave them a goal on their goal kick and they gave us a goal from a throw in so it was two poor goals in concentration from both teams.

"There were some moments from us where we switched off. We were not really at the races to start with but a draw, we got the away goal so we are looking forward to next week."

Right to make so many changes? "We needed to keep using the squad, we need to use the players and give them the chance to play their way into the team and into form because there are so many games. Tonight was worth making those changes. We have a big game on Sunday against Watford."

Mignolet makes it count - the stats

  • Manchester United are unbeaten in their last four away games in all competitions (W3 D1), their longest unbeaten streak on the road since March 2019, when they won nine in a row.
  • Club Bruges have kept just one clean sheet in their last 10 Europa League matches, failing to do so in their last five games in the competition (excluding qualifiers).
  • Dennis' opener against United ended the English side's run of 408 minutes without conceding in all competitions.
  • United forward Martial has been directly involved in four goals in his last four appearances on the road in all competitions (three goals, one assist), as many as in his previous 10 games.
  • Mignolet is the first goalkeeper to provide an assist in the Europa League since Guilherme for Lokomotiv Moscow against Sporting Lisbon in September 2015.

What next?

Manchester United return to Premier League action this weekend as they host Watford on Sunday, 23 February (14:00 GMT).

Line-ups

Club Bruges

  • 88Mignolet
  • 77Mata Pedro Lourenco
  • 44MecheleBooked at 90mins
  • 17Deli
  • 5Kossounou
  • 26Rits
  • 3BalantaBooked at 39minsSubstituted forVormerat 47'minutes
  • 95De CuyperSubstituted forSchrijversat 73'minutes
  • 35TauSubstituted forde Ketelaereat 62'minutes
  • 42Dennis
  • 20VanakenBooked at 53mins

Substitutes

  • 14Okereke
  • 15Mitrovic
  • 16Schrijvers
  • 18Ricca
  • 22Horvath
  • 25Vormer
  • 90de Ketelaere

Man Utd

  • 22Romero
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 5Maguire
  • 23Shaw
  • 20DalotSubstituted forBruno Fernandesat 81'minutes
  • 15PereiraBooked at 69minsSubstituted forFredat 71'minutes
  • 31Matic
  • 53Williams
  • 8Mata
  • 14Lingard
  • 9MartialSubstituted forIghaloat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1de Gea
  • 3Bailly
  • 17Fred
  • 18Bruno Fernandes
  • 21James
  • 25Ighalo
  • 29Wan-Bissaka
Referee:
Aleksey Kulbakov
Attendance:
27,006

Match Stats

Home TeamClub BrugesAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home10
Away16
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home15
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Club Brugge 1, Manchester United 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Club Brugge 1, Manchester United 1.

Attempt missed. Charles de Ketelaere (Club Brugge) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ruud Vormer with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Club Brugge. Conceded by Sergio Romero.

Attempt blocked. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Brandon Mechele (Club Brugge).

Attempt saved. Jesse Lingard (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Luke Shaw.

Attempt blocked. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Victor Lindelöf.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Charles de Ketelaere.

Offside, Manchester United. Bruno Fernandes tries a through ball, but Brandon Williams is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Fred (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Siebe Schrijvers (Club Brugge).

Attempt blocked. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Juan Mata.

Attempt blocked. Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Fred.

Attempt blocked. Odion Ighalo (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt blocked. Juan Mata (Manchester United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Brandon Williams.

Offside, Manchester United. Bruno Fernandes tries a through ball, but Juan Mata is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Bruno Fernandes replaces Diogo Dalot.

Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis (Club Brugge) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Odilon Kossounou (Club Brugge) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis with a cross.

Offside, Club Brugge. Siebe Schrijvers tries a through ball, but Ruud Vormer is caught offside.

Foul by Luke Shaw (Manchester United).

Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis (Club Brugge) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Club Brugge. Siebe Schrijvers replaces Maxim De Cuyper.

Corner, Manchester United. Conceded by Brandon Mechele.

Harry Maguire (Manchester United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis (Club Brugge).

Juan Mata (Manchester United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Maxim De Cuyper (Club Brugge).

Substitution

Substitution, Manchester United. Fred replaces Andreas Pereira.

Foul by Odion Ighalo (Manchester United).

Hans Vanaken (Club Brugge) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Ruud Vormer (Club Brugge) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Booking

Andreas Pereira (Manchester United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Andreas Pereira (Manchester United).

Maxim De Cuyper (Club Brugge) wins a free kick on the left wing.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 20th February 2020

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla65011431115
2Apoel Nicosia6312108210
3FK Qarabag6123811-35
4F91 Dudelange6114818-104

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Malmö FF632186211
2FC Copenhagen62315419
3Dynamo Kyiv61417707
4Lugano603325-33

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Basel6411124813
2Getafe640284412
3FK Krasnodar6303711-49
4Trabzonspor6015311-81

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1LASK6411114713
2Sporting6402117412
3PSV Eindhoven6222912-38
4Rosenborg6015311-81

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic6411106413
2CFR Cluj640264212
3Lazio620469-36
4Rennes611458-34

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal6321147711
2Frankfurt6303810-29
3Standard Liege6222810-28
4Vitória Guimarães6123710-35

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Porto631289-110
2Rangers62318629
3Young Boys62228718
4Feyenoord612379-25

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Espanyol6321124811
2Ludogorets6222101008
3Ferencvárosi TC614157-27
4CSKA Moscow612339-65

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KAA Gent6330117412
2Wolfsburg632197211
3Saint-Étienne604268-24
4Oleksandria6033610-43

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Istanbul Basaksehir631279-210
2Roma623112669
3B Mgladbach622269-38
4RZ Pellets WAC612378-15

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga6420159614
2Wolves6411115613
3Slovan Bratislava61141013-34
4Besiktas6105615-93

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Man Utd6411102813
2AZ Alkmaar623115879
3Partizan Belgrade6222101008
4FC Astana6105419-153
View full Europa League tables

Top Stories