Champions League

United face Club Brugge in CL qualifier

2015-08-07 12:22
Louis van Gaal (AFP)
Louis van Gaal (AFP)

Nyon - Manchester United were given a kind draw in the Champions League play-offs as they were paired with Belgians Club Brugge on Friday.

The three-time former winners, making their return to Europe's premier club competition after a one-year hiatus, will play the first leg at their Old Trafford home.

"We're absolutely delighted to be back in the competition. We're back where we want to be," said United club secretary John Alexander.

"Belgian football is right at the very top and we have two Belgian players in the squad who keep us abreast of what's going on there.

"We go into any game with confidence. We'd like to think we can win the competition."

In other pairings in the League Route, Spaniards Valencia, finalists in 2000 and 2001, drew 2004 finalists Monaco of France while the clash of the round sees Italians Lazio up against Germany's Bayer Leverkusen, beaten finalists in 2002.

"Ahead of the draw we were fully aware that we were going to face a very good side in the play-offs," said Lazio coach Stefano Poli.

"We need to prepare in the best possible way for this tie in order to be competitive."

Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade was also glum over the draw.

"I think we got the toughest draw possible but obviously we want to be in the group stage," he said.

"We are very confident that our coach's pressing style will see us do well in the competition."

United failed to qualify for European competition last season having finished seventh in the English Premier League in 2014.

But Louis Van Gaal led them to fourth in the table last season, giving them the chance to earn a place back in the group stage of the Champions League, a competition they last won in 2008 during a run of three finals in four seasons (the last being a defeat to Barcelona in 2011).

Club Brugge are the only ever Belgian side to reach the European Cup or Champions League final, losing 1-0 to United's bitter domestic rivals Liverpool in 1978.

United forward Adnan Januzaj and midfielder Marouane Feilaini are both Belgium internationals.

In the other League Route pairings, Sporting Lisbon will have the chance to gain revenge on CSKA Moscow, who beat them in the 2005 UEFA Cup at the Portuguese outfit's own Lisbon home ground.

The final pairing sees Austria's Rapid Vienna - conquerors of Ajax in the third qualifying round - take on Ukraine's Shakhtar Donetsk while the pick of the Champions Route games saw 1967 winners Celtic drawn against 1979 finalists Malmo.


Astana (KAZ) v APOEL (CYP)

Skenderbeu (ALB) v Dinamo Zagreb (CRO)

Celtic (SCO) v Malmo (SWE)

Basel (SUI) v Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR)

BATE Borisov (BLR) v Partizan Belgrade (SRB)

Lazio (ITA) v Bayer Leverkusen (GER)

Manchester United (ENG) v Club Brugge (BEL)

Sporting Lisbon (POR) v CSKA Moscow (RUS)

Rapid Vienna (AUT) v Shakhtar Donetsk (UKR)

Valencia (ESP) v Monaco (FRA)

First legs to be played August 18/19, second legs on August 25/26


What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.