Jan Breydel Stadium
Wed, Aug 26th 2015
We go into tonight’s match leading 3-1 after the first leg at Old Trafford and I must admit to feeling much more positive after Fellaini’s late goal last week than I would have been going here just 2-1 ahead.
From a purely financial point of view, qualifying for the Champions League proper is worth perhaps at least £40 million to us so Fellaini might just have paid off his transfer fee in full (and more on top) last week.
Club Brugge showed last week that they are approaching this tie with no fear and a “Nothing to lose” type attitude and whilst I thought we’d get straight into them last week, it was the Belgian side who looked like the home side for the first 15-20 minutes and when Carrick put them into a shock lead inside ten minutes, it didn’t exactly go against the run of play.
With practically no strikers (Rooney looks more like a midfielder who doesn’t score many right now) it was hard to see how we would turn the tie around from that point but Memphis Depay stepped up to the plate and showed us all what he’s about with two great goals and a laser-guided cross right onto Fellaini’s head for the third.
A goal for us tonight should be more than enough to put this tie to bed but I suspect the emphasis will be on continuing our very good defensive record that has underpinned our season so far.
Club Brugge need to win 2-0 to go through so I expect them to start much as they did the first leg and try to grab that early goal which will put the whole tie on a knife-edge.
Despite the comings and goings at United over the last couple of seasons, we do retain a core of hugely experienced Champions League campaigners within the ranks though and that vast experience should be enough to get us through tonight and I think we’ll do just enough to secure our place back in the main event.