Memphis Depay Brace Gives Manchester United UEFA Champions League Playoff Edge
George Best, Eric Cantona and Cristiano Ronaldo; three great men who donned the No 7 shirt at Manchester United. Another man announced his arrival with a classy display donning the Red Devil’s No 7 on Tuesday. The Dutch star is a £25 million ($39.1 million, 35.2 million euros) signing from PSV Eindhoven in the close season.
Memphis Depay notched up a fabulous brace at Old Trafford as Manchester United hammered Club Brugge 3-1 of Belgium in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League playoff.
United didn’t feature in the Champions League last season for the first time in 19 years. The English Premiership giants in its bid to seal a berth in the group stage of the competition now needs to win the playoffs.
Depay Turns The Fortunes
It had been 504 days since United hosted a Champions League game and fortune didn’t favor them in early stages of the first half.
Manchester United had to come from behind to seal it. Michael Carrick’s own goal in the first half gave visitors Club Brugge the lead.
In attempt to clear Victor Vazquez’s free kick in the eighth minute, Carrick conceded an own goal. Memphis Depay announced his arrival at Old Trafford within five minutes by scoring a stylish goal. Carrick made amends by providing an assist.
Depay chest-trapped his pass, got past a defender and slotted home with his right foot after entering the box.
The 21-year-old Dutchman doubled his tally at the stroke of half-time, by cutting inside his marker wide on the left and coolly placing the ball at the corner of the net.
The visitors were reduced to ten men as Brandon Mechele was sent off after in the 80th minute. Depay squandered a hat trick opportunity later.
United finally rounded it off as Marouane Fellaini headed home in the 4th minute of the stoppage time.
“It (Fellaini’s goal) makes a difference because 2-1 is a very difficult result,” said Louis Van Gaal, the United boss.
“I am very happy for Memphis because a player needs that. I said it was a matter of time and hopefully he shall continue.”