Anthony Martial pounced on a mistake to ensure Manchester United take an away goal into the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie with Club Brugge following a 1-1 draw on Thursday night.
The Belgian side worked tirelessly throughout and deserved their 15th-minute lead when Dennis Bonaventure lobbed the onrushing Sergio Romero direct from Simon Mignolet’s goal-kick.
But Martial restored parity after an error from Brandon Mechele 16 minutes later with a composed finish beyond the former Liverpool goalkeeper. The lively Bonaventure forced Romero into two saves from an acute angle while Odilon Kossounou squandered another fine chance as United extended their unbeaten run to five games.
Club Brugge head coach Philippe Clement, who played under Gordon Strachan for Coventry City during the late 1990s, said his side would require “a miracle” to advance from the tie – but it was the hosts who made the better start. The 45-year-old felt his side ought to have been awarded a very early penalty when Romero challenged Bonaventure inside the box but referee Aleksei Kulbakov was unmoved.
The Belgians, who were eliminated from the Europa League at this stage last season, then very nearly took a third-minute lead as after Luke Shaw switched off from a throw-in, Bonaventure saw his effort blocked by Victor Lindelof before Nemanja Matic hacked the ball to safety under pressure from Hans Vanaken.
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