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LVG is sure his United troops possess drive to qualify

By Robert Jones

Louis van Gaal was relieved to see his side strike late to earn a commanding 3-1 lead against Club Brugge in their Champions League play-off.

The Red Devils boss felt his side should have been more ruthless in an Old Trafford encounter that started disastrously.

Brugge took a surprise first-leg lead through Michael Carrick's own goal.

But Memphis Depay drove in a low strike before brilliantly cutting inside and curling in a 25-yard shot to put United ahead.

Brugge defender Brandon Mechele was sent off for two bookings after 80 minutes and Depay crossed for Marouane Fellaini to head in a late third.

Van Gaal, however, claimed his men should have scored more goals ahead of next Wednesday's return leg.

"We deserved much more because we created a lot of chances," said the Dutchman.

"It is what I am always saying, you have to be effective. We have a lot of chances and only three goals.

"I am happy because of the last goal. We have practiced that before.

"We put him (Fellaini) in the penalty area because he has that quality.

"It is not a simple opponent. It is still a game but, because of that last goal, it is more confident for us."

Fellaini was pleased to give United breathing space but insists they have plenty still to do to ensure they reach the group stages of the Champions League.

"It was important to score the third goal and we did so it's a fantastic win," he said.

"So now we have to be careful in Brugge and normally it would not be easy but we have the quality to win there as well."

Club Brugge manager Michel Preud'homm admitted his side's hopes of a sensational result are fading.

"You have a small chance at home but it is going to be very difficult," he said.

"I know Fellaini, of course, and he is very strong in that situation.

"We tried to play with our qualities. We missed a lot of players. The red card was very far for me, it is difficult to see.

"If we have to miss our captain and central defender, with all our injured players, I don't see the solution to beat Manchester United."

Belfast Telegraph


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