Manchester United were back to their brilliant best when they ousted Club Brugge with a dominating 5-0 win at Old Trafford on Thursday. The second-leg of the Europa League Round of 32 fixture was an electric one with the traveling side reduced to 10 men early on when Simon Deli interrupted a clear goal-scoring opportunity with a hand-ball and was sent off.
Bruno Fernandes’ ensuing penalty goal was just the start of the barrage as Odion Ighalo doubled the club’s confidence with his debut goal following which Scott McTominay cemented their lead. Fred left things until late, netting two goals in the final 10 minutes to stamp the club’s dominance, heading into the Round of 16 with a 6-1 aggregate scoreline.
1. First Massive Win Since 2013
This is the first time since 2013 that Manchester United have won a European game with a margin of 5 goals. This feat was last achieved in November 2013 against Bayer Leverkusen in the group stages of the Champions League.
This is also a testament massive win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer who since his first huge win against Cardiff City and then the 6-0 thumping at Tranmere Rovers, has seen a victory margin this big. More of the same.
2. Odion Ighalo’s Debut Goal
Old Trafford responded with a resonating roar when Odion Ighalo slotted Juan Mata’s exceptional pass into the back of the net to score his first goal in a United jersey.
The Nigerian striker has been inching close to this goal for weeks now, always being denied by the goalkeeper during his substitute cameos. This full debut goal was a special one and it is evident that fans will be hoping more from him.
In fact, with Anthony Martial picking up an injury in training, Ighalo’s next full game may come sooner than expected.
3. Bruno Fernandes
Utterly exceptional stuff from the Portuguese midfielder, who since arriving from Sporting has managed to change the entire look of the United attack itself.
Creative to his peak, Fernandes once again aped Jorginho in misleading the goalkeeper during his penalty kick and was then actively involved in creating both of the goals during his time on the pitch. The numbers are already looking promising and it will be incredible to see what other feats he’ll achieve as a Red Devil.
4. Midfield Scores Goals
In an impeccable showing of all-round offensive ethos, both of Solskjaer’s holding midfielders found themselves on the scoresheet. Scott McTominay, fresh from recovery, was cool in his finish while Fred’s two goals were aptly created.
This dynamic is crucial for the club going forward as they can build on it and improve further.
5. Disappointing from Brugge
Fans of the traveling side would have been thoroughly disappointed with this result and the thumping margin of the defeat. Previous precedent had shown nothing of the sort with the Real Madrid game at the Bernabeu in the group stages of the Champions League showing much promise.
Even in the first leg of this encounter, the side were resolute and played attractive football. As such, making a silly handball and throwing away the tie was just plain pathetic. Got to feel bad for the traveling fans.