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Club Brugge draw against Man U, AA Gent lose 1-0 to AS Roma

Our two Europa League teams were in action on Thursday evening. In the 7pm kick-off Club Brugge drew 1-1 at home against Manchester United. Later in the evening AA Gent put in a more than respectable performance in their game away at AS Roma. The Buffaloes lost by the narrowest of margins and will have high hopes a wiping out their deficit in the second leg. 

There is nothing between Club Brugge and Manchester United after the first leg of their round of 32 tie. United’s Anthony Martial cancelled out an Emmanuel Bonaventure lob to ensure it finished all square in Belgium.

A confident-looking Club Brugge struck first with 15 minutes on the clock, Simon Mignolet's long ball downfield finding Bonaventure who, despite the presence of two defenders, was still able to lob the advancing Sergio Romero.

The visitors drew level before the break thanks to a terrific solo effort from Martial, who dispossessed Brandon Mechele before darting from halfway to slot in, and the Frenchman came close to putting United ahead when his swinging effort was kept out by the upright.

United’s defence dropped back in the second half, their high pressing having contributed to Club Brugge's goal, and besides an opening flurry, few opportunities ensued. Late on, however, both sides went for the winner, the best chance coming as the home side's chief danger, Bonaventure, set up Odilon Kossounou, who dragged wide. United brought on reinforcements in January signings Odion Ighalo and Bruno Fernandes as they looked to ramp up the pressure, but Club dug in for a well-earned draw.

AA Gent have high hopes for the second leg

In what turned out to be a tight contest, AS Roma emerged with a narrow win. The second half was far less comfortable than the Italian might have expected given the run of play during opening 45 minutes.

The AS Roma keeper Pau López kept several attempts out as Gent pushed for an equaliser in an improved second-half showing. However, the home side could have doubled their advantage through a late header by Kolarov's. Next Thursday’s second leg could go either way. 

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