United can soak up Brugge pressure and profit on the break
Fine margins decide matches at the highest level and Club Brugge are probably still blaming German referee Deniz Aytekin for the fact that they have a two-goal deficit to overcome in the second leg of their Champions League qualifier against Man United rather than just the one.
It could have been a very uncomfortable evening for Louis van Gaal’s men in Belgium had Aytekin not decided to allow one final United attack at Old Trafford with the tie finely balanced. Marouane Felaini scored and United now have a cushion that should allow them to ease into the group stages.
The referee also sent off Brugge’s Brandon Mechele so he’s suspended to add to Michel Prud’homme’s problems as he looks to mastermind an unlikely comeback. Brugge will have to push players forward in the return leg and that will leave them vulnerable to the counter-attack.
Man United’s failure to beat Newcastle on Saturday was evidence that they still aren’t firing on all cylinders with Wayne Rooney, in particular, coming in for plenty of criticism. But the Red Devils remain unbeaten and have still been dominating lesser sides. They’ll be even tougher to beat once Bastian Schweinsteiger gets up to speed but need a good run in the Champions League to attract quality additions, as Pedro’s late defection to Chelsea proves.
Brugge’s early goal at Old Trafford only briefly unsettled United but would have a greater significance on home soil and have visiting fans biting their fingernails. However, there is enough class and experience among the United ranks to make sure they remain solid and that Michael Carrick own goal in the first leg remains they only time they’ve conceded since the season began.
Man United are 19/20 to score first and win in our Matchflow betting and the Draw/Man United is 33/10 in our Half Time/Full Time market.
The match kicks off at 7.45pm on Wednesday, August 26th at the Jan Breydel Stadium, Brugge