Bruno Fernandes and Fred starred while Odion Ighalo got his first goal for Manchester United as they thrashed Club Brugge 5-0 in the Europa League.
After a bright start to the game, Manchester United got ahead in the 27th minute when Bruno Fernandes slotted home from the penalty spot after Simone Deli handled a shot from Daniel James, leading to the former’s sending off. It was pretty much one way traffic from then on, with Odion Ighalo making it 2-0 from close range before Scott McTominay scored from the edge of the box.
Manchester United seemed to have somewhat taken the foot off the pedal after the half-time break, but there was time for Brazilian midfielder Fred to score a brace within the final ten minutes of the game to add more gloss to the scoreline. With the win, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are now through to the Round of 16 of the Europa League in spectacular fashion.
And here’s how we rated the performance of the Manchester United stars on the night at Old Trafford.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 27, 2020
Sergio Romero: 6/10
An unconvincing punch early in the game fell straight to Brugge midfielder Mats Rits, who failed to punish the error. Apart from that, Romero had little to do on the night.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka: 7/10
Retained at right-back by Solskjaer, the Englishman enjoyed a pretty straightforward outing on Thursday. Wasn’t troubled a great deal defensively, which allowed him to get forward regularly. Delivered a couple of good crosses into the box. Seems to be getting better at the attacking facets of his game.
Eric Bailly: 7/10
Back into the starting XI for the first time after his comeback against Chelsea, Bailly looked solid throughout the game. Dealt with whatever Brugge threw at him, which wasn’t much, without any trouble. Looked confident on the night and has staked a claim for more regular involvement over Victor Lindelof.
Harry Maguire: 7/10
The Manchester United captain had an early scare as he failed to properly deal with a long ball from which David Okereke almost scored. Recovered from that moment and was his usual solid self. There were a few moments when he strode forward with great confidence, while his passing was on point as well.
Luke Shaw: 8/10
Another game, another accomplished performance from Shaw, who has grown from strength to strength in recent matches. Was a constant outlet on the overlap, while he dealt with the pace of Percy Tau comfortably on a couple of occasions when Brugge threatened to counter. Has been in excellent form of late.
Scott McTominay: 8/10
Making his first start since Boxing Day, the Scottish midfielder showed what Manchester United had missed during his injury-enforced absence. Brought great energy and a sense of urgency in the middle of the park, often pressing the opposition high up, while his passing was sharp and precise as well. Took his goal brilliantly, placing the ball past Simon Mignolet with great precision.
Set the tone for Manchester United with his intense pressing from the get-go and picked the right pass more often than not. Got the assist for McTominay’s goal with a neat pass and then went on to get his name on the scoresheet twice in the final phase of the game. Industry, energy, incision, the Brazilian brought everything to the field and capped it off with two well-deserved goals.
Fred’s game by numbers vs. Club Brugge:
100% dribbles completed
91% pass accuracy
82% final third passes
6 ball recoveries
A dominant midfield performance. 🇧🇷 pic.twitter.com/z4jS13gF4I
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 27, 2020
Juan Mata: 8.5/10
After failing to make much of an impact in the first leg, the Spaniard was in his elements on Thursday night. His understanding and connection with Bruno Fernandes was brilliant to watch as the duo worked in tandem to carve out the Brugge defence. Stung Mignolet’s palms with a fierce effort early on, before setting up Ighalo’s goal. One of his best performances in recent memory.
Bruno Fernandes: 9/10
Another game in which the Portuguese playmaker stamped his authority. Looked purposeful and dangerous from the get-go, forcing two early saves from Mignolet. Dispatched his penalty with utmost calm to put Manchester United in front, before finding Mata with a sensational pass in the lead-up to Ighalo’s goal. Won the ball and started the move for his team’s third.
Was taken off in the second half with the game done and dusted. Has had a galvanizing effect on this Manchester United side since his arrival and it continued on Thursday night.
Daniel James: 6.5/10
Won the penalty when Deli handled his goal-bound effort from the edge of the box. Had a great chance to score soon after, but hit his shot wide. Was taken off at half-time with Solskjaer opting to rest him ahead of the Everton fixture.
Odion Ighalo: 7.5/10
Making his first start for Manchester United in place of the injured Anthony Martial, the Nigerian led the line with authority to begin with, before opening his goalscoring account from point-blank range. Forced a save from Mignolet soon after and could have had another goal but failed to sort his feet out. Encouraging signs for the Red Devils, especially with Martial picking up an injury.
Tahith Chong: 6.5/10
Thrown on in place of James at half-time, the Dutch winger took some time to get going. Not always convincing, but did come close to scoring and went on to provide the assist for Manchester United’s fifth goal.
Jesse Lingard: 7/10
Replaced Fernandes in the 65th minute and looked much better than he has in recent games. Selflessly assisted Fred for his first goal and in general was sharp during his time on the pitch.
Mason Greenwood: 6/10
Came on for McTominay for the final twenty minutes. Looked lively and saw an effort drift just wide off the mark.