Anthony Martial's fine solo strike cancelled out an Emmanuel Bonaventure lob as Manchester United recovered to draw in Belgium.
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There is nothing between Club Brugge and Manchester United after the first leg of their round of 32 tie, Anthony Martial cancelling out an Emmanuel Bonaventure lob to ensure it finished all square in Belgium.
The match at a glance
A confident-looking Club Brugge struck first with 15 minutes on the clock, Simon Mignolet's long ball downfield finding Bonaventure who, despite the presence of two defenders, was still able to lob the advancing Sergio Romero. The visitors drew level before the break thanks to a terrific solo effort from Martial, who dispossessed Brandon Mechele before darting from halfway to slot in, and the Frenchman came close to putting United ahead when his swinging effort was kept out by the upright.
United’s defence dropped back in the second half, their high pressing having contributed to Club Brugge's goal, and besides an opening flurry, few opportunities ensued. Late on, however, both sides went for the winner, the best chance coming as the home side's chief danger, Bonaventure, set up Odilon Kossounou, who dragged wide. United brought on reinforcements in January signings Odion Ighalo and Bruno Fernandes as they looked to ramp up the pressure, but Club dug in for a well-earned draw.
View from the stadium: Dante Bellon, Match reporter
Philippe Clement had the bit of luck that he'd hoped for as Club Brugge earned a gritty draw. After going a goal up, the hosts let their guard down for a moment and Martial was clinical to capitalise on Mechele's slip. Club Brugge will be frustrated as they could easily have earned a first-leg advantage, but this is still a decent result, even if it could have been better.
Visitors' view: Matthew Howarth
United took a while to get going, with Martial's equaliser appearing to knock the wind out of the home side's sails following a bright start. The away goal gives Ole Gunnar Solskjær's team the advantage going into the second leg, but there was enough in Club Brugge's performance to suggest they could upset the odds at Old Trafford next week.
Philippe Clement, Club Brugge coach: "I'm very happy with the game my team played, especially the young guys. De Cuyper made a very good debut. He is the type of player that gives everything during training and deserved a spot in the starting XI. His mistake are things that can happen. That's football."
Simon Mignolet, Club Brugge goalkeeper: "It's a hard-fought draw against Manchester United. Unfortunately we gave that goal away after a little mistake, but I'm happy with what we brought on the field. I'm really looking forward to going back to Old Trafford next week."
Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Manchester United manager: "We got the away goal. It was a very good individual goal. Martial worked very hard to get the ball off the defender and produced a composed finish, but we know we can play better."
Juan Mata, Manchester United midfielder: "They started well, playing good football and defending compact. We shouldn't have conceded but we scored from their mistake. In the second half, we were much better than the first and had some chances."
- Mignolet is the first goalkeeper to provide an assist in the UEFA Europa League since Lokomotiv Moskva's Guilherme against Sporting CP in September 2015
- Club Brugge are without a win in their last 11 meetings with English sides (D3 L8) since a 1-0 defeat of Chelsea in the 1994/95 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup quarter-finals
- Manchester United have scored one goal or less in 13 of their last 14 away games in the UEFA Europa League
- Eight of Manchester United's last ten goals have been scored in the first half
- Ighalo is the first Nigerian to play for Manchester United
- Martial's first United goal was also scored past Mignolet, then of Liverpool, in September 2015
Club Brugge (BEL): Mignolet; Mata, Kossounou, Mechele, Deli; Rits, Balanta (Vormer 46), Vanaken; Bonaventure, Tau (De Ketelaere 62), De Cuyper (Schrijvers 73)
Manchester United (ENG): Romero; Williams, Lindelöf, Maguire, Shaw; Matić; Pereira (Fred 71), Lingard, Mata, Dalot (Bruno Fernandes 81); Martial (Ighalo 67)