Fortunately, there was Martial


Jostled, Manchester United brought the draw from Bruges (1-1) in the round of 16 first leg of the Europa League. Alone at the forefront in a reworked formation, Anthony Martial saved the Red Devils.

Sometimes team composition means a lot. A few weeks ago, we could imagine that the Europa League was the only door to the Champions League for a Manchester United won in the Premier League. But since their victory at Chelsea (0-2) on Monday, the Red Devils look up in a championship where fifth place, with the penalty imposed in Manchester City, can offer a ticket for C1.

Maybe that’s why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose reworked training on the lawn of Bruges, this Thursday evening, in the 16th finals go. We have a lot of matches to come. There are not too many players and we want a competition for places. If we are to succeed in the Premier League, Europa League and FA Cup, we need everyone “, justified the manager of Mancun on MU TV, before the meeting.

In fact, Solskjaer had left several executives on the bench (De Gea, Bailly, Wan-Bissaka, Fred…) as well as the recruits Bruno Fernandez and Odion Ighalo. The boss mainly relied on Harry Maguire to hold the barracks behind, in a 5-4-1, with Anthony Martial to bring danger to the front of the attack. A successful bet since the French center-forward did not need anyone to take advantage of a ball badly judged by the Belgian rearguard, on a touch in favor of Bruges, to go alone to the goal (1-1 , 36e).

It was necessary since Man U was dominated in this meeting by a beautiful team from Bruges, who had shaken Real Madrid (2-2) in front of the Champions League pool. The leader of Jupiler League had opened the scoring by his striker Emmanuel Dennis, on a clearance from Simon Mignolet which surprised everyone, from defense to Mancunian goalkeeper, Sergio Romero, too advanced (1-0, 15th). Overall, Bruges had more chances, through the untenable Dennis (28th, 50th), Vormer (70th) or Kossonou (78th). After the exit of Martial (68th), and despite the entry of Bruno Fernandes (81st), Manchester did not show much. But that remains a perfectly correct result, given the circumstances, before returning to Old Trafford.

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