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Memphis Depay dazzles as Manchester United take initiative in Champions League qualifier

first_img1 Memphis Depay lit up Old Trafford with two wonderfully taken goals as Manchester United edged out Club Brugge on their return to the Champions League.United got off to the worst possible start when Michael Carrick turned the ball into his own net inside 10 minutes.However, the Memphis show then began as the summer signing showed exactly why Ed Woodward parted with £25m to secure his services with a first half brace.As United continued to push for a third, Brugge’s defence buckled with Brandon Mechele given his marching orders after picking up two yellow cards, before Marouane Fellaini nodded in Memphis’ deep cross in the 94th minute.Manchester United began brightly but the crowd were stunned into silence after only eight minutes when Carrick wrong-footed Sergio Romero in the United goal to deflect the ball into his own net.Victor Vazquez fired in a low but harmless-looking free-kick from 40 yards out but the Englishman lunged towards the ball to prod in for a potentially vital away goal for the Belgian side.However, just as United fans started to contemplate yet another season without Champions League football, Memphis produced a lovely bit of skill worthy of the famous no.7 jersey on his back to level the scores after 13 minutes.The Dutchman flicked the ball past the on-rushing Dion Cools before charging past three defenders and finishing powerfully into the bottom corner to score his first competitive goal for the Red Devils.Memphis looked electric all evening on the wing as he terrorised Brugge’s right-back, making Louis van Gaal’s decision to play him through the middle against Tottenham all the more baffling.Three minutes before half-time Memphis got his second, and it was even more impressive than the first.The former PSV Eindhoven man cut inside from the left before unleashing a powerful, curling effort past the helpless Club Brugge goalkeeper.Bastian Schweinsteiger – who had scored the last Champions League goal at Old Trafford – replaced Carrick at half-time but it was Memphis who continued to impress, and a lovely link-up with Wayne Rooney should have handed the Dutchman his hat-trick.Brugge defender Mechele saw red with 10 minutes remaining for a silly challenge on Javier Hernandez which earned him his second yellow of the evening.Deep into injury time, Fellaini made the numerical advantage count, heading in a deep cross from man of the match Memphis to give United a commanding lead going into the second leg. Memphis Depay last_img

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