Club bows out of Europe after 4-0 defeat at the hands of Salzburg
The European journey has grinded to a halt for a lacklustre Club Brugge side, suffering a 4-0 defeat at the hands of FC Salzburg. Goals by Schlager and twice Daka created a 3-0 deficit at half-time. The visitors had their share of opportunities, but were unable to score. Well into injury time, Dabbur added salt to injury with the 4-0.
The team that had done so well against Genk over the weekend was tweaked in two positions. On the right wing, Sofyan Amrabat came on for the injured Mata, while his counterpart Emmanuel Dennis came on for the young Diatta. The 2-1 in the first leg forced Salzburg to go for attack, so the hosts headed for goal from the onset. An industrious Wolf fired over, while Daka's attempt chipped off a Club defender over the crossbar.
An early goal is what the hosts were aiming for, and after ten minutes that mission seemed to come to a good end. A neat pass over the Club defense was intercepted by Daka, brought down inside the box by Horvath. The German ref pointed toward the spot, but the American made up for his mistake by saving Dabbur's spot kick. Blauw-Zwart's reaction was great, Wesley finding Dennis in front of goal, but his shot was blocked. An attempt by Vanaken a bit later sailed over. Instead of 0-1, the opener fell on the other side of the pitch. A bad clearance ended up with Schlager, who relentlessly fired in the 1-0 from just outside the box, albeit going off Mechele.
The hosts saw their plans working out just fine, and put Club under pressure. Just after the half hour mark, matters became even worse for Club; Pongračić teeing up Patson Daka, who wrong-footed Horvath by the first post to make it 2-0. Again, Blauw-Zwart had a good reaction in store, but again without success. Wesley deviated Dennis' shot towards an empty goal, but goalkeeper Walke happily clutched the effort. Not impressed, Salzburg kept sending its attackers, resulting in a third home goal before half time. This time, Schlager put Daka through, slotting in the 3-0. The striker seemed to be slightly off-side, but the goal counted nonetheless.
With its back against the wall, Club now really needed a goal to bring tension to the game. Vanaken saw his shot go way wide, at first, but a bit later Club came close to the 3-1; Wesley was found in the heart of defense, turned, but curled his effort just wide of target. A Schrijvers shot also went unframed. On the other side of the pitch, Horvath saved Ulmer's shot upon free kick, and saw Wolf aim wide of target.
With thirty minutes to go, Leko brought in Krépin Diatta, and the talented youngster immediately brought some creativity to the table. Shortly after, another fine chance followed for Club, but Vormer was unable to reach a team mate, the ball ending up with Walke off Minamino. A bit later, Dennis produced a fine cross, but Vormer backtracked too much to be able to head it home. The hosts leant back, but lurched on the break, and came close to adding a fourth, seeing Daka's fine shot go centimetres wide, and Horvath save Minamino from just outside the box.
With Openda and Vossen, Club now pulled out all of its guns, looking for that one goal that might open up the game a bit, but it was unlucky in finishing. A free kick by Walke was saved, and in the rebound both Vossen and Vanaken were unable to score. In the ensuing corner kick, Vossen's header was pushed against the post by Walke. The woes weren't over yet, however, and Poulain brought more head ache to the visitors playing the ball straight in the feet of Minamino, launching Dabbur. The Israeli top scorer cut out Mechele, and easily tucked in the 4-0.
UEFA Europa League – Round of 32
Audience: 24,000 – Red Bull Arena
Ref: Mr. Daniel Siebert (Dui)
FC Salzburg: Alexander Walke – Stefan Lainer, Marin Pongračić (77’ Albert Vallci), Jérôme Onguéné, Andreas Ulmer – Xaver Schlager, Diadié Samassékou, Hannes Wolf (63’ Takumi Minamino), Zlatko Junuzović (71’ Enock Mwepu)– Patson Daka, Munas Dabbur. Coach: Marco Rose.
Club Brugge: Ethan Horvath – Benoît Poulain, Brandon Mechele, Stefano Denswil – Sofyan Amrabat (63’ Krépin Diatta), Ruud Vormer, Mats Rits, Hans Vanaken, Emmanuel Dennis – Siebe Schrijvers (69’ Loïs Openda), Wesley Moraes (84’ Jelle Vossen). Bench: Karlo Letica, Kaveh Rezaei, Marvelous Nakamba and Dion Cools. Coach: Ivan Leko.
Yellow: Horvath, Denswil, Vanaken, Onguéné, Dennis, Vallci.
Goals: 17’ Schlager (1-0), 29’ Daka (2-0), 43’ Daka (3-0), 94’ Dabbur (4-0).
Text by: Steven Floin (sv)