herald

Tuesday 6 December 2016

Man United get Club Brugge in Champions League qualifier

Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs (right) and Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (left)
Manchester United assistant manager Ryan Giggs (right) and Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal (left)

Manchester United must get past Club Brugge to reach the group stages of the Champions League.

United drew the Belgian side in the play-off round, with the first leg taking place at Old Trafford on August 18 or 19. The second leg will be played on August 25 or 26.

Club Brugge, who finished second in the Belgian league last season, beat Greek side Panathinaikos 4-2 on aggregate in the third qualifying round but it will be seen as a decent draw for Louis van Gaal's side, who could have been pitted against Lazio, Monaco or CSKA Moscow.

United have never played Club Brugge but they have a history of meeting Belgian opposition in Europe, including a record 10-0 victory over Anderlecht in the 1956-57 European Cup.

Celtic were drawn against Swedish champions Malmo in the play-off round, with the first leg taking place at Parkhead.

The Scottish champions avoided potential nightmare trips to Kazakhstan or Albania after beating Qarabag, of Azerbaijan, in the third qualifying round.

But Malmo, European Cup finalists in 1979, have plenty of pedigree and have won the Swedish title in the last two seasons.

Malmo overturned a 2-0 deficit from their away leg with Red Bull Salzburg to win 3-2 on aggregate and have former Celtic player Jo Inge Berget in their ranks.

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