Manchester United moved a step closer to a return to the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 3-1 play-off victory over Club Brugge in the first leg on Tuesday.
Memphis Depay shone on his European debut for United with two clinical finishes in the first half, before Marouane Fellaini added a late third to secure a two-goal cushion.
After Michael Carrick scored an early own goal, United raised the tempo at Old Trafford with Depay – signed from PSV in June – at the heart of their impressive display.
His first came after some silky skills on the edge of the penalty area, then doubled his tally with a curling effort from 18 yards before half-time.
Depay should have completed his hat-trick in the second half, so it was left to Fellaini to extend their winning margin with a header in stoppage time after Brandon Mechele was sent off for two bookable offences.
Tuesday’s other four play-off matches all brought home wins, with Lazio recording a 1-0 victory over Bayer Leverkusen in Rome.
The Serie A side finally found a way through after 77 minutes as substitute Balde Keita burst through the Leverkusen defence before firing low past Bernd Leno.
Sporting Lisbon needed a late Islam Slimani strike to give them a narrow advantage over CSKA Moscow, the Algeria international firing home with eight minutes remaining to secure a 2-1 win.
Teofilo Gutierrez gave the Primeira Liga side the early advantage with a 12th minute opener, before Seydou Doumbia levelled before the break after seeing an earlier penalty saved by Rui Patricio.
Baurzhan Dzholchiyev struck the decisive goal for Astana as they edged nearer to a first group stage appearance with a 1-0 win over APOEL, while BATE enjoyed the same result in their first leg against Partizan – who had Mark Jevtovic sent off.
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