Bruges vs Man United – Goals
Manchester United started sloppily and were punished after 15 minutes when Emmanuel Bonaventure who was between two defenders, coolly lifting the ball over the onrushing Romero.
United equalised when Anthony Martial intercepted a back pass from opponent and raced past to beat ex-Liverpool keeper Simon Mignolet one-on-one. Martial has often struggled to live up to the expectations from £36 million signee from Monaco. However, he was the standout United player in this game and was unfortunate to not 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.
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.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Manchester Manager
“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.”
“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 play the return leg match at Old Trafford on 27 February.
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