Over and out for our Europa League clubs

No Belgian teams have made it into the last 16 of this season’s UEFA Europa League. After having lost the first leg of their tie against AS Rome by a goal to nil, AA Gent got no further than a 1-1 draw in the return leg. After having drawn the home leg of their tie against Manchester Unite 1-1, Club Brugge needed to beat United at Old Trafford on Thursday Evening. However, it was not to be and the game ended 5-0 in the English team’s favour. 

Club Brugge’s European campaign ended at Old Trafford. Simon Deli was sent off with a straight red card after keeping a ball out with his hand halfway the first half and afterwards the hosts slotted home three goals before the break. Despite a spectacular Mignolet, Manchester United scored two more goals in the final minutes of the game against a young and very unexperienced Club.

In a lively start Mignolet parried away Mata's effort and needed a fingertip save to push Fernandes' shot against the post. Club tried to open the scoring on the break, but Okereke failed to keep a long ball from Mignolet under control and Rits aimed too high. United came close again when Fernandes unleashed a drive which Mignolet saved well with a splendid reflex. The home side maintained the pressure. This paid off half way through the first half when Simon Deli kept out James' curling effort with his hand. Red card for the Ivorian and a penalty for the Reds. Bruno Fernandes rolled in the spot kick to give his side the lead. 

Manchester United pushed through and doubled the lead ten minutes before half-time. First James' sent his finish wide, but when Juan Mata headed the ball in front of goal on a brilliant through ball by Fernandes, Ighalo couldn't miss from closeby.

Minutes later Mignolet had to deny Ighalo a second goal. United’s third goal came when McTominay struck home.

The tempo dropped after the break. Apart from a Fernandes free-kick, both sets of fans had little to cheer about. The Club Brugge Coach Clement brought on Mitrovic and Diatta for Mata and Tau after an hour play, but that didn't change a lot.

Halfway through the second half Mechele blocked Chong's effort and Mignolet palmed away a shot by Shaw.

United’s 4th goal came from Fred who fired home a shot from Lingard. In the closing minutes Fred scored a second goal to make it 5-0 on the night and 6-1 on aggregate. 

AA Gent draw on the night but loose on aggregate

Despite to more than worthy performances against the Italian side AS Roma, AA Gent lost their Europa League tie by an aggregate score of 2-1. It was an eventful second leg with plenty of action at both ends.

Both the evening’s goal fell in the first half. Johnathan David opened the scoring for AA Gent on 26 minutes. However, the Buffaloes’ dreams of a place in the final 16 of this season’s Europa League competition were dashed three minutes later when Justin Kluivert equalised for the Italians. Despite their many chances, AA Gent were unable to score the two goals they now needed to win the tie.

The match ended 1-1 on the night and 2-1 to AS Roma on aggregate. Nevertheless, AA Gent can hold their heads up high with regard to their Europa League performances this season.       

 

NVE