Anthony Martial of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his teams first goal during the UEFA Europa League round of 32 first leg match against Club Brugge at the Jan Breydel Stadium on February 20, 2020 in Brugge.
Europa League, Last-32, Jan Breydelstadion - Club Brugge 1 (Dennis 15') Manchester United 1 (Martial 36')
Anthony Martial's third goal in four games ensured Manchester United secured a draw in their Europa League last-32, first leg at Club Brugge.
Brugge began the game much the better side and were value for their lead when Emmanuel Dennis raced onto Simon Mignolet's quick goal kick brushing aside Brandon Williams and lobbing Sergio Romero who was outside of his penalty area.
United showed little sign of getting back into the game until Brandon Mechele allowed a throw-in from debutant Maxim De Cuyper to run past him and Martial barged onto the ball then raced goalwards and slid it past Mignolet.
Martial had another great effort before the break when he shot with his left foot from outside the box but Mignolet pushed onto the post.
Dennis twice had two more efforts from narrow angles to score for Brugge but Romero protected his near post well on both occasions.
TALKING POINT- Is Martial finally ready to be the man for United?
With Romelu Lukaku gone, United have sorely missed a number nine to lead their line.
With Marcus Rashford injured this need became dire and with the best will in the world Odion Ighalo is unlikely to be this man.
Martial has flashed great ability at times, but now maybe Rashford being away has enabled him to take and run with the mantle for the rest of the season.
He was not always involved in the game but the way he took advantage of a defensive slip 40 yards from goal and then so expertly finished shows he has it in him to shoot United to a Champions League spot.
Man of the Match Emmanuel Dennis
A thorn in the United side throughout and surely will cause many more problems in the second leg. A fine dribbler when defenders are in close proximity and no United defender can deal with him for pace. Whenever Brugge looked dangerous it was through him.
Club Brugge's Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis celebrates after scoring during a game of the 1/16 finals of the UEFA Europa League between Belgian soccer club against Manchester United, in Brugge, Thursday 20 February 2020.
Image credit: Getty Images
Bruges: Mignolet 7, Mata 6, Mechele 6, Deli 6, Kossounou 5, Rits, 6, Balanta 6, De Cuyper 6, Tau 6, DENNIS 8*, Vanaken 6. Subs De Ketelaere 6, Vormer 7, Schrijvers 6.
Manchester United: Romero 6, Linelof 6, Maguire 6, Shaw 6, Dalot 6. Pereira 7, Matic 7, Williams 5, Mata 5, Lingard 6, Martial 8. Subs: Fernandes 7, Ighalo 6, Fred 7.
5' So close for Brugge. A quick free kick caught out Luke Shaw and Emmanuel Dennis poked the ball past Maguire before nudging the ball past Romero and only brave defendign from Lindelof and Matic stopped a Brugge goal.
15' GOAL! Fiasco at the back for United. A long ball down the middle bounces over the defenders and Dennis runs on to it past Williams and over Romero who stupidly had come 20 yards out of his goal.
29' Tao and Dennis really are the worst pair for United's sluggish defence to play. Dennis on this occasion beats Dalot arond the outside and then shoots from a narrow angle but Romero pushes away.
35' GOAL! United are level from Martial and it is as bad defending as for the first goal. Mechele let a slightly errant throw from De Cuyper run past him and the French striker robbed him 40 yards from goal and finished coolly.
43' Martial has a fine left-footed shot from outside the box that Mignolet tips onto the post.
50' Why did he pass? Mata drew the defence and played in Martial in the left hand side of the area but the French striker tried to square back to Mata and the danger is snuffed out.
51' End to end! Dennis is played in and from a tight angle he tries to squeeze the ball inside Romero's near post but the keeper blocks with his legs.
90+4' With the last chance of the game the babyfaced De Ketelaere jumps to meet a corner but heads wide.
409 - Bruge's goal was the first United have conceded in 409 minutes.
59.6 - United dominated possession with almost 60% of the ball.