Club Brugge 0-0 Galatasaray: Honours even in game of missed chances

By Sports Desk September 18, 2019

Club Brugge's unbeaten run in the Champions League continued but they could not find a way through Galatasaray in a frustrating 0-0 draw.

Brugge exited last season's competition in the group stage but went on a streak of four successive games without defeat to end their participation in the tournament.

They had much the better of Wednesday's Group A encounter at the Jan Breydel Stadium but wasted too many opportunities in a game they deserved more from.

The stalemate does little for the hopes of two teams expected to be battling for the Europa League place in a group containing heavyweights Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

Brugge dominated from the off and should have led in the eighth minute when Emmanuel Bonaventure Dennis had the goal at his mercy but could only meet Ruud Vormer's cross with a woefully off-target header.

Matej Mitrovic then shouldered a free-kick over the crossbar and Brugge were almost made to pay for their profligacy, Gala's Ryan Babel unable to beat Simon Mignolet after a defensive mistake sent him through on goal.

There was more frustration for Brugge as Federico Ricca hit the crossbar on the half-volley at the end of a counter-attack after a pass deflected into his path, with Dennis then wasting another gilt-edged chance, collecting a long ball only to drag wide with just goalkeeper Fernando Muslera to beat.

Muslera came to Gala's rescue twice in quick succession, first to again deny Dennis before then keeping out David Okereke's header with a superb diving save.

Sofiane Feghouli clipped the top of the crossbar with a curling effort and Yuto Nagatomo fired wide from long range but Gala could not claim a victory they would not have merited.

 

What does it mean? Stalemate benefits nobody

In a group where the odds are stacked against them with Madrid and PSG expected to progress, the onus was on one of these clubs to earn a positive result to boost hopes of becoming a surprise package. Despite Brugge's best efforts, neither side did so and they each figure to be counting the cost of that failure come the next round of fixtures.

Muslera preserves point

Brugge would have had taken maximum points if not for the reflexes of Uruguay keeper Muslera, whose fine two saves early in the second half proved pivotal.

Dennis lacks menace

Nigerian striker Dennis has already found the net three times this season but he was guilty of spurning several chances to put Brugge ahead before being substituted in the second half. A better side would have punished his wastefulness.

What's next?

Brugge must now turn their attention to the rather large matter of a crunch domestic clash with Anderlecht. Their next Champions League assignment is at the Santiago Bernabeu against Madrid. Gala visit Yeni Malatyaspor before a huge league match with Fenerbahce. They welcome PSG to Istanbul on October 1.

Related items

  • Hudson-Odoi supports England team stance on racist abuse Hudson-Odoi supports England team stance on racist abuse

    Callum Hudson-Odoi has supported the idea of walking off the pitch as a team in response to racist abuse at football grounds.

    The Chelsea winger suffered abuse on his first start for the Three Lions in Montenegro last May which he described as "evil" at the time.

    The 18-year-old is hoping to force his way into the Gareth Southgate’s Euro 2020 squad as he makes his way back from an Achilles injury suffered last season.

    Hudson-Odoi scored twice in a 5-1 win for England’s under-21s against Austria on Tuesday and said he was proud of the solidarity shown by the senior players and coaching staff when questioned about the unsavoury scenes in Bulgaria.

    "It’s disgusting to hear or see players getting discriminated against," he told reporters.

    "It’s not right. I say to myself whenever that happens you have to stick together as a team, which the boys did.

    "I am really proud to see the boys stick together in those situations where they say they would walk off the pitch. It is right because no player should be treated differently.

    "We’re all equal and it’s an equal game, so we have got to stay strong. Hopefully everything will be sorted out properly by UEFA."

  • Robertson relishing Old Trafford battle with 'excellent' compatriot McTominay Robertson relishing Old Trafford battle with 'excellent' compatriot McTominay

    Liverpool defender Andy Robertson is relishing Sunday's battle with Scott McTominay and says his Scotland team-mate has been "excellent" for Manchester United this season.

    The international colleagues will come face to face when Liverpool travel to Old Trafford in the Premier League this weekend.

    McTominay has started all eight league games of a disappointing campaign for United, who are down in 12th place after winning just two of those matches.

    Despite his club's on-pitch struggles, the 22-year-old has been hailed as a shining light by compatriot Robertson.

    "He's been excellent all season in a United team that has had its critics. I think he's carried himself very well," Robertson said, quoted in several British newspapers.

    "I'll be looking forward to facing him on Sunday. Obviously, I hope to come out on top."

    While United have struggled in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first full campaign, bitter rivals Liverpool are flying at the top of the table after making a perfect start.

    However, the Reds are winless in their last five away league meetings with United - something Robertson is keen to put right.

    "I think what makes the fixture so special is that it's historic," he said. "There have been such great battles down the years.

    "And they've always had top teams who have always fought against each other for everything on the pitch.

    "It's always like that. And it's genuinely a different atmosphere when you play against them. It's one game that we always look forward to.

    "Since I've been a Liverpool player, we've not managed to get a result at Old Trafford. So hopefully that changes on Sunday."

  • Pogba out for United against Liverpool, De Gea to be assessed Pogba out for United against Liverpool, De Gea to be assessed

    David de Gea's fitness will be assessed ahead of Manchester United's Premier League clash with Liverpool, which Paul Pogba will miss.

    Goalkeeper De Gea appeared to suffer a groin injury during Spain's 1-1 draw with Sweden in Euro 2020 qualifying on Tuesday.

    Pogba, meanwhile, has been hampered by an ankle injury this season and played only twice for United in September.

    He had taken part in warm-weather training in Dubai this week but will be reduced to the role of spectator on Sunday as United aim to deal their great rivals a first league defeat of the season.

    Solskjaer does not expect De Gea to be fit for the visit of the league leaders but will wait on the results of tests on the 28-year-old. Sergio Romero would likely deputise in his absence.

    "No chance," Solskjaer said to Sky Sports of Pogba's hopes of playing in the fixture.

    "Paul, he had an injury, came back, worked really hard, came back, played a couple of games, maybe played through the pain barrier.

    "We had a scan after the Arsenal game and he needed a few weeks' rest in a boot. Hopefully he won't be too long but he won't make this game."

    United go into this weekend's game in 12th position and 15 points behind Liverpool, who are eight points clear at the top having taken maximum points from their first eight league games.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.