Club Brugge v Manchester United background
Saturday, August 22, 2015
All is not lost for Club Brugge despite a 3-1 loss at Old Trafford, Manchester United's away record in Belgium suggesting a nerve-wracking night may be in store.
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Club Brugge can take encouragement from Manchester United's recent away form as they seek to overturn a 3-1 loss from the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off.
• Memphis Depay scored twice and set up the third for Marouane Fellaini as United won 3-1 at Old Trafford in the first leg – the sides' first European meeting.
• Club Brugge's past encounters with English clubs include defeats in the 1976 UEFA Cup and 1978 European Champion Clubs' Cup finals – both by Liverpool.
• Club Brugge are unbeaten in ten European home games (W6 D4) and beat Panathinaikos 3-0 in this season's third qualifying round: a repeat of that result would eliminate United.
• United have lost their last two European away matches by two-goal margins: 2-0 at Olympiacos in the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League round of 16, and 3-1 at Bayern München in the quarter-finals. They have won only one of their last seven European away fixtures (W1 D3 L3).
• Club Brugge have a decent home record against English teams: W6 D2 L1. Their only home reverse was a 2-1 against Birmingham City in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League.
• United have lost their last two games in Belgium, having overcome Anderlecht 2-0 on their first visit in 1956.
• Club Brugge have not played in the UEFA Champions League group stage since 2005/06.
• United did not qualify for the 2014/15 UEFA Champions League – their first absence since 1995/96.
• United have never lost a UEFA Champions League or European Cup qualifying tie; their sole defeat in 17 qualifying matches in the competition was a 1-0 at Zalaegerszeg in the 2002/03 third qualifying round.
• This is Club Brugge's first UEFA Champions League play-off; they have won all five of their play-off ties in the UEFA Europa League.
Links and trivia
• United boast Belgian talent in the form of midfielders Adnan Januzaj and Fellaini, both of whom were born in the Brussels area. Fellaini played under Club Brugge coach Michel Preud'homme at Standard Liège from 2006–08, lifting the Belgian title together in 2007/08.
• Fellaini and Club Brugge's Tom De Sutter were part of the Belgium squad that got to the semi-finals of the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 championship.
• United defender Jonny Evans has some knowledge of Belgian football having spent part of 2006 on loan at Royal Antwerp – a club with whom United have had a long-term relationship. United manager Louis van Gaal was also a Royal Antwerp player from 1973–77.
• Van Gaal took on Club Brugge as coach of Barcelona in the 2002/03 UEFA Champions League group stage; his troops won 3-2 at home and 1-0 in Belgium.
• Club Brugge boss Preud'homme took on United's neighbours Manchester City as a Standard Liège player in the 1978/79 UEFA Cup; his side went down 4-0 in Manchester but won the return game 2-0.
• Club Brugge midfielder Ruud Vormer made his first professional appearances under Van Gaal at AZ Alkmaar in 2007/08.
• Club Brugge goalkeeper Sinan Bolat headed an added-time equaliser for Standard Liège against an AZ Alkmaar team featuring current Manchester United keeper Sergio Romero on the last UEFA Champions League group stage matchday of 2009/10. It earned Standard a UEFA Europa League spot at AZ's expense.