Man United players fume after controversial Club Brugge opener

Manchester United players fume after Club Brugge score goal starting with ball rolling at goal kick… but Owen Hargreaves blames Sergio Romero for coming off line and claims ‘clear and obvious error’ was in defence

  • Manchester United conceded a soft opener slotted home by Emmanuel Dennis
  • United conceded just seconds after attacking up the other end of the pitch 
  • United players felt the goal shouldn’t have stood as ball was rolling at goal-kick 

Manchester United players were left fuming after conceding a soft opening goal in their 1-1 draw away at Club Brugge on Thursday night. 

United went 1-0 down when Emmanuel Dennis ran through on goal straight from a goal-kick and lobbed Sergio Romero who had rushed out to collect the ball. 

Just seconds earlier, United had been on the attack before Nemanja Matic tried and failed to win a corner-kick near the corner flag.

Manchester United felt Brugge’s opening goal from Emmanuel Dennis shouldn’t have stood

United felt Simon Mignolet’s goal-kick which set Dennis up was illegal as ball was still rolling

Seconds prior to the goal-kick Nemanja Matic saw his appeals for a corner-kick rejected

Matic felt United should’ve been awarded a corner-kick but Brugge goalkeeper Simon Mignolet took a quick goal-kick which set Dennis free to score. 

In the aftermath of the goal, United players then complained that the ball was rolling when Mignolet hit his goal-kick, but the goal was allowed to stand. 

BT Sport pundit Owen Hargreaves was dismissive of United’s complaints and said their defence and Romero were at fault for the goal.

He said: ‘[The] first goal, Matic tries to get a corner and doesn’t get it. One quick long ball, the pitch is wet, Romero can’t come off his line there, United were disorganised and paid the price.

‘I don’t know why they didn’t use VAR to review the tackle on Matic near the corner but the mistake is clear and obvious from United’s defence.

‘Romero is too far off his line, if he stays on his line maybe Brugge don’t score. Young Dennis is a goalscorer, we saw that against Real Madrid.’

BT Sport pundit and former Manchester United striker, Robin van Persie, was equally scathing about United’s first half performance in Belgium. 

Romero rushed off his line and was caught out by Dennis’ excellent lob for Brugge’s opener

‘Brugge played really well first 35 mins, should’ve been 2 or 3 nil up. United looked flat and sloppy, they’re lucky to still be in the game. They got a gift for the goal.

‘United didn’t create much, positionally they were not right in my opinion, they were sloppy.’

Fortunately for United, a brilliant goal from Anthony Martial, which saw him rob the Brugge defence of possession before dribbling through on goal and finishing, gave them an equaliser shortly before half-time. 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side improved in the second period but couldn’t find a second goal, though a 1-1- draw leaves them in a strong position ahead of the second leg at Old Trafford. 

Anthony Martial then scored an equaliser with a fine run and finish before half-time


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