Martial Scores As United Avoids Defeat To Brugges.

Anthony Martial snatched an equaliser out of nothing as United avoided defeat in Bruges.

Anthony Martial struck a crucial away goal as Manchester United ground out a 1-1 draw against Club Brugge in Belgium on Thursday in the first leg of their Europa League last 32 tie.

Nigerian forward Emmanuel Dennis lobbed a stranded Sergio Romero from 30 yards to give Belgian league leaders Brugge the lead on 15 minutes at a chilly, rainswept Jan Breydelstadion.

Martial though hauled United level before half-time with an excellent run and finish after pouncing on a defensive lapse from Brandon Mechele.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made six changes to the side that beat Chelsea on Monday, with Romero handed another start in Europe while Victor Lindelof returned from illness to form a three-man defence alongside Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw. New signing Odion Ighalo again began on the bench.

Brugge coach Philippe Clement, once of Coventry City, handed a European debut to 19-year-old Maxim De Cuyper with captain Ruud Vormer only fit enough to start among the substitutes.

De Cuyper nearly popped up with a goal inside three minutes when Dennis escaped Maguire and skipped towards Romero, his attempt to pull back resulting in Nemanja Matic hooking against the teenager and the ball ricocheting fortuitously over the bar.

Andreas Pereira, United’s Belgium-born Brazilian midfielder, saw a low 20-yard drive tipped behind by Simon Mignolet, with the Brugge goalkeeper setting Dennis up for the opener moments later.

A long kick forward caught United short in defence and Dennis, who scored twice against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in October, outmuscled Brandon Williams before lofting over Romero with the Argentine well off his line.

An increasingly ragged United were fortunate not to fall further behind when Mats Rits scuffed wide before Romero positioned himself expertly to keep out Dennis from a tough angle.

About Peter Okiokpa

Electronics Engineer. Digital Entrepreneur. Blogger. Writer. Christlike.😇

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