Champions League

Man Utd target goals, group phase in Bruges

2015-08-25 11:56
Memphis Depay (Getty Images)

London - With the Champions League group phase beckoning in Wednesday's play-off round second leg against Club Brugge in Belgium, Manchester United's problems in front of goal remain a source of concern.

Though strong favourites to book a spot in the group stage after a first season out of the competition in 19 years following last week's 3-1 win in the first leg, United's lack of cutting edge at the sharp end of the pitch was highlighted anew in Saturday's 0-0 draw with Newcastle United.

Louis van Gaal's side have scored only twice in their three league games to date and while one of those was an own goal by Tottenham Hotspur's Kyle Walker, the other was a deflected shot by Adnan Januzaj against Aston Villa.

Captain Wayne Rooney has come to symbolise United's problems in the opposition penalty area, having gone 10 club games without finding the net, but team-mate Chris Smalling believes there are no issues with the England striker's confidence.

"I think if you see in his play, he is running in behind and he is giving himself opportunities," Smalling said.

"I think we probably had double figures in terms of chances (against Newcastle), not just to Wayne but for the whole team.

"It's just a case of one of those falling in, but the majority of the team is getting those opportunities so if we keep creating those chances, they will come eventually."

The only real attacking spark United have shown this season came in the first leg against Club Brugge, when Memphis scored his first two goals in the club's colours and set up an injury-time header for Marouane Fellaini that significantly altered the complexion of the return leg in Bruges.

But Memphis could not replicate that display against Newcastle, prompting Van Gaal to remark drily that his performance against Club Brugge may have given the 21-year-old "too much" confidence.

Memphis is nonetheless expected to keep his place in the team at the sold-out Jan Breydel Stadium, while Van Gaal must decide whether to keep faith with Bastian Schweinsteiger, who made his full debut against Newcastle but faded badly.

 

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 26 November 2019
Lokomotiv Moscow v Bayer Leverkusen, Lokomotiv Stadium 19:55
Galatasaray v Club Brugge, Turk Telekom Arena 19:55
Juventus v Atletico Madrid, Allianz Stadium 22:00
Atalanta v Dinamo Zagreb, Atleti Azzurri d'Italia 22:00
Manchester City v Shakhtar Donetsk, Etihad Stadium 22:00
Real Madrid v Paris SG, Santiago Bernabeu 22:00
Red Star Belgrade v Bayern Munchen, Stadion Rajko Mitic 22:00
Tottenham Hotspur v Olympiacos, Tottenham Hotspur Stadium 22:00
Wednesday, 27 November 2019
Valencia v Chelsea, Mestalla 19:55
Zenit St. Petersburg v Lyon, Saint Petersburg Stadium 19:55
Liverpool v Napoli, Anfield 22:00
Barcelona v Borussia Dortmund, Camp Nou 22:00
Slavia Prague v Inter Milan, Eden Arena 22:00
Genk v Red Bull Salzburg, Luminus Arena 22:00
RB Leipzig v Benfica, Red Bull Arena 22:00
Lille v Ajax, Stade Pierre-Mauroy 22:00
Tuesday, 10 December 2019
Red Bull Salzburg v Liverpool, Red Bull Arena 19:55
Napoli v Genk, San Paolo 19:55
Ajax v Valencia, Amsterdam ArenA 22:00
Benfica v Zenit St. Petersburg, da Luz 22:00
Lyon v RB Leipzig, Groupama Stadium 22:00
Inter Milan v Barcelona, San Siro 22:00
Borussia Dortmund v Slavia Prague, Signal Iduna Park 22:00
Chelsea v Lille, Stamford Bridge 22:00
Wednesday, 11 December 2019
Dinamo Zagreb v Manchester City, Maksimir Stadium 19:55
Shakhtar Donetsk v Atalanta, Metalist Stadium 19:55
Bayern Munchen v Tottenham Hotspur, Allianz Arena 22:00
Bayer Leverkusen v Juventus, BayArena 22:00
Club Brugge v Real Madrid, Jan Breydel Stadion 22:00
Olympiacos v Red Star Belgrade, Karaiskakis Stadium 22:00
Paris SG v Galatasaray, Parc des Princes 22:00
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow, Wanda Metropolitano 22:00
Saturday, 30 May 2020
TBA v TBA, Ataturk Olympic Stadium 02:00
Logs
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