Manchester United has submitted its squad to UEFA for the 2015/16 Champions League group stage.
The Reds’ first test comes against PSV Eindhoven, away in the Netherlands on Tuesday 15 September. Louis van Gaal’s men will also face group-stage games against CSKA Moscow and Wolfsburg.
David De Gea
* denotes Player List B
A player may be registered on List B if he is born on or after 1 January 1994 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA. Players aged 16 may be registered on List B if they have been registered with the participating club for the previous two years without interruption.
Each club is entitled to register an unlimited number of players on List B during the season. The list must be submitted by no later than midnight CET on the day before the match in question.
CHICHARITO’S FAREWELL MESSAGE TO UNITED
Javier Hernandez has posted a heartfelt message of thanks to those who shaped his Manchester United career following the Mexican’s deadline-day transfer to Bayer Leverkusen.
Chicharito joined the Reds from Chivas Guadalajara in the summer of 2010 and quickly endeared himself to the fans by scoring 20 goals during a prolific debut season, when Sir Alex Ferguson’s team notably won a 19th English league title to overtake the previous record set by rivals Liverpool.
United of course claimed a historic 20th title two years later, when Hernandez played a key role in the achievement by scoring 18 goals during a season that will be never be forgotten by supporters of the club.
In total, the striker scored 59 goals in 157 United appearances prior to his deadline-day move away from Old Trafford. While he is now excited to begin a new chapter of his career in Germany, Chicha will always remember his time in Red and posted a heartfelt Instagram post on Thursday morning.
“I want to thank Sir Alex Ferguson and Jim Lawlor [chief scout], the club staff, all the players I played with,” he wrote on his personal Instagram account, with the image seen above.
“But especially I want to thank all the Manchester United fans in the UK and all around the world for the incredible support I’ve had this past four years and all the best wishes they have for me in my new chapter!!”
FACEBOOK FAN MESSAGES
On the official Manchester United Facebook page, we are inviting fans to post their own messages of thanks to Javier Hernandez following his transfer to Bayer Leverkusen. Here are just a few posted so far…
Trevor Bigger: I’m sorry to see you go Javier, good luck for the future.
Joanna Roy: Good luck to the Little Pea. Thanks for the memories!
James Stone: What a player you were for United, I am sad to see you leave. Good luck!
Adel Ali: Good luck Chicha, we are going to miss your mark on the team.
Vivien Weston: Thank you for being such a role model for United. Good luck with your new club!
Peter Forrester: All the very best for your future endeavours Chicharito. Thank you for sharing your talents with us Manchester United fans.
Manchester United is delighted to announce that Anthony Martial has completed his transfer from AS Monaco. Anthony joins on a four-year contract with the option to extend for a further year.
Martial, 19, has made 70 appearances for AS Monaco since joining in 2013 and has scored 15 goals. The forward has represented his country from Under-16 level right through to Under-21, and was called up to France’s senior national squad for the first time on 28 August.
Anthony Martial said: “I am so excited to be joining Manchester United. I have enjoyed my time at AS Monaco and I would like to thank them and the fans for everything they have done for me.
“I have always wanted to play in the Premier League and to join the biggest club in the world is what every young footballer dreams of. I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and working with Louis van Gaal who has achieved so much in his career.”
Louis van Gaal commented: “Anthony is a naturally talented, young, multi-functional forward with great potential. We have been watching him for a while now and he has developed immensely during his time at AS Monaco.
“I am delighted he has joined Manchester United as I believe this is the right club for him to continue his development as a young player. He has all the attributes to become a top football player; however we need to give him time to adjust to his new environment and the rhythm of the Premier League.”
Anthony Martial: I’m ready for United
Anthony Martial believes he will not feel the pressure of joining Manchester United after the Frenchman sealed a transfer from Monaco on deadline day.
The highly-regarded 19-year-old is to link up with his new colleagues at Old Trafford after representing France during the international break, but has already granted MUTV his first exclusive interview.
Asked about being a young player at a club like United, Martial answered with confidence. “I don’t feel the pressure. I know there is pressure but I’m ready for it.
“I’m very happy because it’s a big club in England,” he continued. “I’m very proud. I’m very happy because I worked hard for this and my family is very happy about it.
“I spoke with the coach, Louis van Gaal, and I know that I need to work very hard. It’s not easy to speak about myself but I am a very fast player. I hope that everything will go well for me at this club.”
Looking forward to the prospect of playing his first-ever match at Old Trafford, the new signing concluded: “I’m very happy because the supporters are great here. I will be ready when the time comes.”
Scorers: Ayew 61, Gomis 66; Mata 49
Manchester United tasted defeat once again at the Liberty Stadium as Swansea City recorded a second successive 2-1 win over the Reds in South Wales.
It was Swansea’s fourth win in five league and cup matches over United in what turned out to be a disappointing 50th match in charge for Louis van Gaal.
After a goalless first half, the Reds started the second period on top and went ahead through Juan Mata’s close-range finish. The advantage was shortlived, however, when Garry Monk’s side drew level 12 minutes later through Andre Ayew’s header. The Swans took the lead five minutes later when Ayew set up Bafetimbi Gomis to slot home.
Ander Herrera kept his place in the starting XI after his goalscoring exploits in midweek against Club Brugge and began just behind Wayne Rooney in the no.10 role. Morgan Schneiderlin and Bastian Schweinsteiger were also back in the XI in two deep-lying midfield positions.
The Reds had a score to settle with Swansea having lost three of the last four league and cup meetings, including two defeats last term. And, two minutes in, United drew the first save of the match from Lukasz Fabianski who dived low to his left to push away Memphis Depay’s well-struck free-kick. Seconds later, Mata flashed an effort over the bar after some more positive play from United.
It took a while before the Reds’ next sight of goal came – on 19 minutes – and Swansea had their captain Ashley Williams to thank after he got across to steal the ball off Rooney’s toe after a sublime pass from Luke Shaw. Two minutes later, Memphis cut inside from the left, found Herrera who turned well inside the box and immediately found Mata who, under pressure from defenders, fired an effort just wide of Fabianski’s left-hand post.
Having offered very little in attack up to that point, Swansea suddenly had three opportunities in as many minutes. Jonjo Shelvey free-kick was flicked on by Gomis to Gylfi Sigurdsson who flashed a low drive inches wide of the post with Sergio Romero beaten. The Argentinian stopper then presented possession to Shelvey 25 yards out. He pinged an effort immediately towards goal but Romero managed to get back in position to claim. The Swans then went even closer through Gomis who turned and cut in from the right before striking a shot with the outside of his boot off the far post.
Herrera, who had scored in United’s 2-1 defeat at the Liberty Stadium last season, tried his luck from 25 yards as half-time approached, but he dragged it off target.
Possession: Swansea 37% United 63%
Shots: Swansea 5 United 7
Shots on target: Swansea 1 United 2
Corners: Swansea 0 United 1
United got off to the best possible start at the beginning of the second period when Mata netted his 50th goal in English football and put the Reds 1-0 up on 49 minutes. It came after another excellent run and cross from Shaw down the left. Rooney let the centre go through to the back post where Mata got in ahead of Williams to smash the ball into the roof of the net.
The Reds almost got a fortuitous second soon after when Memphis’ cross was sliced towards goal by Williams and only a superb fingertip save from Fabianski prevented the goal. The Swans keeper was called up on again on the hour when Herrera slipped a lovely ball in to Mata but his shot was kept out.
Another United attack was broken up by Williams a minute later as Swansea set off on the break. The ball found its way out to Sigurdsson on the right and his cross was headed home by the unmarked Ayew to level proceedings.
Things got worse for the Reds five minutes later when Gomis put the hosts in front. Ayew turned provider this time as his outside-of-the-foot pass found the Swansea striker who calmly slotted under Romero.
Carrick and Ashley Young replaced Schneiderlin and Mata, before Marouane Fellaini came on for Herrera as the Reds went in search of an equaliser.
United had possession and Young found space for some decent crosses into the box, but the Swansea defence stood firm. With three minutes left, Rooney headed towards goal, but an extra touch allowed Williams to get in and clear the danger.
That proved to be the last opening for the Reds who, once again, left South Wales frustrated and point-less.
Possession: Swansea 36% United 64%
Shots: Swansea 9 United 11
Shots on target: Swansea 4 United 4
Corners: Swansea 0 United 1
United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Schneiderlin (Carrick 70), Schweinsteiger; Mata (Young 70), Herrera (Fellaini 76), Memphis; Rooney (C).
Subs not used: Johnstone, McNair, Valencia, Chicharito.
Booked: Schneiderlin, Depay
Swansea: Fabianski, Naughton, Fernandez, Williams (C), Taylor, Cork, Shelvey (Bartley 89), Sigurdsson, Ayew, Routledge (Ki Sung-Yueng 58), Gomis (Eder 81).
Subs not used: Nordfeldt, Rangel, Tabanou, Dyer.
Booked: Routledge, Shelvey
“I think we were in control for 85 minutes – that’s what I have seen. The result was 2-1 to them and that cannot happen. We gave the game away in five minutes and that cannot happen. We must learn from it.” – Louis van Gaal
“The perfect end to this good run of results would have been a win, but we couldn’t get it and we have to rest, to think about our national teams now and to know that we have to learn our lesson again.” – Juan Mata
Scorers: Rooney 22′, 49′, 57′, Herrera 63′ | 26 August 2015 | Jan Breydel Stadium | Att:
Manchester United will be among the names in the UEFA Champions League group-stage draw after sealing a 4-0 win on the night and a 7-1 victory on aggregate against Club Brugge.
Wayne Rooney answered his doubters in the press by scoring a clinical hat-trick in Belgium before Ander Herrera notched his first goal of the season with another neat finish. The play-off result means Louis van Gaal, the players and supporters can now look forward to returning to Europe’s top table and a competition that has been synonymous with the club since the reign of Sir Matt Busby.
Louis van Gaal made two changes to his team by recalling Michael Carrick in place of Bastian Schweinsteiger and starting Herrera for the first time this season. Both men utilised their passing abilities in the opening exchanges as the Reds controlled possession on a pitch that had been heavily rained upon in Bruges, where the weather was almost biblical leading up to the match.
Despite United’s positive start at the Jan Breydel Stadium, named after a local butcher who led a 13th-century uprising, it was the hosts who created the first chance when Luke Shaw blocked Tom De Sutter’s low volley at the back post, an effort that was more than enough to cheer a home crowd that had provocatively sang along to Liverpool anthemYou’ll Never Walk Alone before kick-off.
The Reds quickly silenced the home supporters, though, by breaking the deadlock on 20 minutes as Memphis Depay, United’s star in the first leg, produced another moment of individual brilliance by dribbling in from the left wing and cutting a neat pass inside for Rooney, who calmly chipped a neat shot over the goalkeeper to score his first goal of the season from around eight-yards.
Rooney’s opener meant Brugge could only progress in normal time with a 4-1 victory and, although their hopes were bleak, the home side showed tremendous spirit and almost levelled when De Sutter forced a smart stop from Sergio Romero on 40 minutes, before the Argentinian goalkeeper brilliantly clawed the ball away from the feet of Boli Bolingoli when he was played in moments later. Memphis also had two efforts deflected wide to cap an intriguing first half in Belgium.
Possession: Club Brugge 38% United 62%
Shots: Club Brugge 5 United 11
Shots on target: Club Brugge 1 United 2
Corners: Club Brugge 1 United 2
The second half began with Schweinsteiger replacing Januzaj in midfield and the former Champions League winner with Bayern Munich quickly slotted in alongside Carrick, perhaps with a view to regaining total control of the tie. Van Gaal’s substitution paid immediate dividends as United capitalised on a misplaced pass from Brugge to swiftly score on the counter, as a more advanced Herrera slipped a neat pass inside for Rooney to bag his second goal with the simplest of finishes.
It was a disheartening restart for the home team and things went from bad to worse for them when the captain claimed his hat-trick just minutes later, by beating the offside trap and latching onto Mata’s intricate pass to slot a low finish underneath the goalkeeper. It was his 35th goal in European competition and only Ruud van Nistelrooy has netted more for the club, with 38 to his name.
United were running amok by this point and the Reds were cutting through the Brugge defence like a hot knife through butter, which led to Herrera scoring a fourth with a neat composed finished from Schweinsteiger’s excellent through-ball. The Spaniard then exited to an ovation from the travelling Reds as Javier Hernandez entered the fray, hoping to add his own name to the scoresheet.
Although Brugge hit the crossbar with an powerful volley from Tuur Dierckx, this play-off tie was over midway through the second half and the Reds should have scored a fifth from the penalty spot on 80 minutes, when substitute Javier Hernandez slipped and shot wide after Oscar Duarte was somewhat harshly penalised for handball by the referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz, a Spanish PE teacher.
Chicharito squandered another excellent opportunity to open his account in the 90th minute when knocking over Ashley Young’s in-swinging cross, but the Mexican’s miss did little to dampen United’s spirits following an extremely beneficial night in Bruges. All eyes are now on Thursday’s group stage draw in Monaco.
Possession: Club Brugge 34% United 66%
Shots: Club Brugge 9 United 22
Shots on target: Club Brugge 1 United 7
Corners: Club Brugge 2 United 4
Club Brugge: Bolat, De Fauw, Castelletto, Duarte, De Bock, Vormer, Claudemir, Vazquez (Vanaken 62′), Diaby (Dierckx 63′), De Sutter, Bolingoli.
Subs not used: Bruzese, Meunier, Cools, De Smul, Oulare.
Booked: Claudemir, Vormer
United: Romero; Darmian, Smalling, Blind, Shaw; Carrick, Herrera (Hernandez 64′); Mata (Young 62′), Januzaj (Schweinsteiger 45′), Memphis; Rooney.
Subs not used: Johnstone, McNair, Schneiderlin, Fellaini.
Follow the match: Wednesday’s 19:45 BST kick-off will be broadcast live on BT Sport. You can also follow the Champions League action in our multi-media match blog or via @ManUtd on Twitter. The ManUtd.com team will be travelling with the squad to Belgium and readers can follow our ‘United Today in Bruges’ blog throughout the team’s stay when it starts on Tuesday.
What’s the state of play? Manchester United earned a 3-1 lead in the first leg of this aggregate tie thanks to goals from Memphis Depay (2) and Marouane Fellaini. It gives the Red a good advantage, although the Belgians have a crucial away goal and would need a 2-0 win to secure qualification to the group stages if United failed to score.
Are there any sub-plots? The loser of this play-off tie will drop into the UEFA Europa League. United’s two Belgium internationals Adnan Januzaj and Fellaini are also set to feature in their homeland.
So who’s in good form? Louis van Gaal’s men were held to a frustrating goalless draw by Newcastle in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday, although one positive was a third consecutive clean sheet for the Reds in the league this season. Meanwhile, Brugge head into this important European tie on the back of a disappointing 2-0 defeat to Zulte-Waregem on Saturday, a result that leaves them sixth in the Belgian Pro League with only seven points from five matches played. On a more positive note, at least for them, Wednesday’s hosts are unbeaten in 10 European home games (W6, D4) and beat Panathinaikos 3-0 in the previous round – a repeat of that result would eliminate United.
Do we know any team news? Bastian Schweinsteiger made his first start of the 2015/16 season against the Magpies and played for 60 minutes, although it is unclear whether the German will retain his place in the XI over Michael Carrick. Elsewhere, Phil Jones is still recovering from a mild case of thrombosis and Marcos Rojo is continuing to improve his match fitness. Brugge are expected to be without Timmy Simons following his injury at Old Trafford, while Brandon Mechele is definitely out through suspension after he picked up two yellow cards last Tuesday night.
What do the players think? Asked if his late goal would prove unpopular in his native Belgium, Fellaini said: “I don’t care, the most important thing is the win. But we have to be careful in the second leg and, as I said, we will press them and we have the quality to win there as well. We have to be ready.”
Van Gaal’s view: “It is a difficult ground, and it is not a simple opponent. I have read in the papers in England that it is simple and it is a walkover, but it isn’t like that. Brugge against Panathinaikos, they won 3-0 [in the previous round]. It is still a game, but because of our third goal we now have more confidence.”
Are Brugge confident? Not really, but they are realistic and remain quietly optimistic of causing an upset in front of their fans. Just ask creator-in-chief, Victor Vaquez: “I’m disappointed by the first-leg result – that is clear – as we held on to a great first-leg result for so long. That final goal from Fellaini really makes it hard on us, however. But you never know in football. If we manage to score an early goal in Bruges, and if our 12th man starts backing the team 100 per cent, then we can go anywhere!”
Fancy a flutter? The club’s official betting partners, Marathonbet, have priced United as favourites to win the match at generous odds of 13/4, with Brugge at 10/11 and the draw at 137/50. If you’re a fan of the correct score market, why not back the Reds to win 3-0 at odds of 35/2.
Who’s the referee? The officials for this match all hail from Spain and Antonio Mateu Lahoz will be the man in charge of this highly-anticipated Champions League tie in Belgium.
Louis van Gaal has selected an 18-man squad for the second leg of Manchester United’s Champions League qualifier away to Club Brugge.
The group left Manchester Airport on Tuesday morning bound for Belgium with Marouane Fellaini included in the travelling party which will train at the Jan Breydel Stadium on Tuesday night. The scorer of the crucial late goal in the first leg replaces Antonio Valencia in the only change to the matchday squad on duty against Newcastle United last weekend.
The Reds currently hold a 3-1 advantage in the tie thanks to a brace from Memphis Depay and Fellaini’s injury-time header after Brugge nicked an early away goal via an unfortunate Michael Carrick own goal at Old Trafford.
The ManUtd.com team will be with the United squad throughout the stay in Belgium and will bring you live updates from Louis van Gaal’s pre-match press conference from 18:15 BST this evening via our United Today blog and our Twitter feed @ManUtd. We’ll also have exclusive photos from the Reds’ training session later this evening.
Full travelling squad: Sergio Romero, Sam Johnstone; Daley Blind, Matteo Darmian, Paddy McNair, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling; Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera, Juan Mata, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Ashley Young; Memphis Depay, Javier Hernandez, Adnan Januzaj, Wayne Rooney.
Darmian urges United to beat Brugge again
Manchester United right-back Matteo Darmian is expecting a tough away test against Club Brugge on Wednesday night, but is adamant the Reds can claim another victory as well as qualification for the UEFA Champions League’s group stage.
The summer signing will find himself in relatively familiar surroundings at the Jan Breydel Stadium, having played there for his former team Torino in last season’s Europa League. The same result – 0-0 – would mean that United go safely through, but Darmian’s focus is firmly on winning the second match.
“For us, 0-0 would be a good result but we always try to win and, when we go to Brugge, it will be no different,” the Italian told MUTV. “We know that they are a good team, particularly at home, but we’ll be going out to win and we know what we have do. We don’t think that it will be easy but it’s very important to all the people at the club for us to qualify.”
While the game in Belgium is now dominating his thoughts, Darmian briefly reflected on his first European match for United – last week’s 3-1 win over Club Brugge at Old Trafford, an experience which clearly excited the right-back.
“The stadium, the fans and the atmosphere were fantastic,” he enthused. “It was a really great feeling for me and I am happy that we managed to win.”
Central defence, full-back or midfield – Daley Blind is willing and able to play wherever he is needed, as the Dutchman has shown during his promising first year with Manchester United.
Blind, who signed from Ajax last summer, has particularly excelled in recent weeks as part of a United backline that has kept three clean sheets in as many Barclays Premier League matches thus far.
Daley gave an in-depth and exclusive interview to United Review, the official matchday programme at Old Trafford for Saturday’s goalless draw with Newcastle, in which he reflected on his first year as a Red, the arrivals of fellow countryman Memphis Depay and his new role as a left-sided centre-back…
Daley, first of all, how do you assess our start to the season?
Yes we’re happy. Pre-season was very good and very well organised, we all stayed fit and played some good matches, and we have started the season very well. We need to keep that going.
You mention the team had a good pre-season – just how important was it for everyone in the squad to get a good preparation period under your belts?
It’s always nice to go away for a period of time together, train hard for a week or two and play some good matches. We were a great group already but with the tour I think it helped us become even stronger and you could see the consistency we took from it in the opening couple of league matches.
People have said it’ll take the team time to gel with new players coming in – how do you feel things are coming along?
Things have been going well. The new signings have fitted in really quickly. Everyone is helping them and I think they feel very comfortable at the club now which is nice to see. If you look at the performances they have been good and you have seen how the new guys have adapted and fitted in to the squad. We have to keep building on that.
Your fellow countryman Memphis Depay joined during the summer – how he’s taken to life here and what does he bring?
He’s settled in very well. You can see he has a lot of talent, he’s very strong and quick and a real personality. He dares to show himself which is very positive and he’s a really good guy who gets along with everyone.
You know what it’s like to come here with big expectations on your shoulders – what advice would you give him?
Just to enjoy it as much as you can. Of course you’re focused on giving the best performance you can every day in training and in matches, but it’s important not to put yourself under too much pressure and make sure you enjoy moments like when you play at Old Trafford for example. I’m also not sure he needs my advice as he is a real personality! [Laughs] He knows what he can do and has a lot of faith in himself and that’s a good way to be at a club like United.
The pair of you are two of a number of Dutch stars playing in the Premier League now…
Yes and I think it’s good for the Dutch team and Dutch football. There are a lot of talented young players who have come over to the Premier League which is very good for us.
You’ve begun the season in central defence and picked up the Man of the Match award in the win at Villa – how pleasing was that?
Of course it’s always nice to get a prize like that for a game. It gives you confidence and it’s nice that people can see you’re doing well there.
What’s the biggest thing you have to be aware of when you’re in central defence compared to when you play at full-back or midfield?
Every position has its own tasks. You have to know what you need to do in every position and the different situations you must deal with. I have played in this position for the last few games and I can adapt very quickly. I’m just focused on doing my best for the team and becoming Man of the Match against Villa was also a sign for me that I’m doing well. So I can keep looking forward.
This is your second season here – what’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt about life at United in the last year?
That’s a difficult question! The thing I learnt is also something I always saw from the beginning which is just how big Manchester United is. You see that when you go on tour and at the away games with the amount of supporters we have and how loud they are, it’s incredible. I have never seen anything like it in my life.
Do you have a different mind-set going into your second season because you know what’s required here and have you set yourself any targets this season?
Yes definitely because you know what to expect more in the games, at the stadiums and from the fans. I think that will be good for me and I want to build on last season, but I’m a guy who lives day-by-day and match-by-match. I want to stay fit and keep improving, and I hope I can play a lot of games and help the team wherever I am needed. That’s the most important thing.
MEMPHIS: I AM LEARNING FROM ROONEY
Although Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Newcastle was frustrating, Memphis Depay continued to display his excellent potential and the Manchester United forward insists his development is being accelerated by the knowledge and experience of team-mate Wayne Rooney.
The 21-year-old Dutchman is widely regarded as one of the most exciting young players in all of European football, a reputation that Rooney had of course earned when he was a similar age.
Rooney has since fulfilled his extraordinary potential by scoring 230 goals in 483 Reds appearances, winning five Premier League titles, the UEFA Champions League, FIFA Club World Cup and two League Cups during 10 seasons at United. Now, he’s helping Memphis to harness his own promise.
“Wayne Rooney helps me a lot,” Memphis said after Saturday’s match. “He has a lot of experience. He already knows everything about the football world so if I have any questions I can ask him.”
United dropped points for the first time this season in Saturday’s match with Newcastle, who did well to withstand heavy pressure throughout a difficult game at Old Trafford. Memphis was disappointed the Reds couldn’t make the breakthrough, but insists the performance was good.
“It was frustrating,” the Dutch forward and new no.7 admitted afterwards. “We started great and sharp and we created some chances but didn’t finish them off. In the second half we also created some more chances but again we didn’t finish it so that was the frustration.
“When you look back you have to say it was one of those days but we have to start finishing. But we have to look forward and train and be ready for Club Brugge on Wednesday.”
Asked about the differences between playing in Holland and England, Memphis noted: “Opponents are more organised here. The Premier League is stronger than in Holland and everybody knows that. I could have finished a couple of chances but I didn’t and I have to work on that.”