Manchester United eased through to the round of 16 after a dominating 5-0 performance against 10-man Belgian side Brugge on Thursday night. United ran out 6-1 winners on aggregate.
In a fast-paced game from the start in the first-half, both teams had early goal threats. Juan Mata took a cracking shot that was saved by Brugge keeper Simon Mignolet. Then it was the turn of the visitors who mounted an attack, but Luke Shaw was there to clear the danger. Bruno Fernandes hit the post, after a touch from Mignolet. The Portuguese also had another fine drive saved by the keeper.
Brugge’s Mats Rits missed an opportunity when he skied the ball over the goal after Sergio Romero’s punch. United took the lead through Fernandes’s penalty when Simon Deli clearly handled the ball in the box. There was a delay in a decision by VAR on the penalty. But it proved that this was a valid call by the referee, and Fernandes confidently stepped up to convert it.
Then it was Juan Mata who found Ighalo in the box for the Nigerian striker to tap-in from close range to make it 2-0 to the Reds. Scott McTominay got on the scoresheet after a well worked build-up around the box with Fred passing the ball to him.
He then rifled a low shot into the right side of the net. It was the Scotsman first start since his Boxing Day injury. The goal came just a few minutes from half-time. At half-time Solskjaer would replace Daniel James with Tahith Chong.
In the second period, United weren’t finished with the visitors as yet as we continued to apply the pressure on them. We created more chances in an effort to add to the Belgians demise. Lingard came on for Fernandes five minutes after the hour mark. Later on McTominay was replaced with Greenwood. In the 82nd minute, Fred finished nicely when sub Lingard squared the ball to him to make it 4-0.
Lingard, Chong and Greenwood all had good efforts, but they weren’t able to capitalize. Then in the third minute of injury time Fred popped up again to grab his second of the night when Chong passed to him, and the Brazilian slotted the ball home to finish of the rout.