Wayne Rooney nets hat trick as Man United beat Brugge to progress
Manchester United made their way into the Champions League group stages with a 4-0 win over Club Brugge in Belgium, thanks to a hat trick from Wayne Rooney.
United rested a few players, with Ander Herrera given a start and the Spanish midfielder was booked inside 13 minutes for a rash challenge on Victor Vazquez.
However, Louis van Gaal's men were ahead soon after as Rooney broke his 10-game goal duck in the 20th minute when Memphis Depay cut inside and slotted a great pass into the striker's path. Rooney has struggled to hit the back of the net so far this season, but dinked the ball over goalkeeper Sinan Bolat to put United 1-0 up.
Depay almost added to his goal tally against the Belgians -- having netted twice in the 3-1 first leg win -- as he latched on to a pass from Rooney, but was flagged offside before clattering into Bolat.
Just after the half hour mark, the Dutchman then found himself through on goal but was closed down before he could make his mind up whether to pass or shoot.
Tom De Sutter connected well with a shot, but Sergio Romero parried to keep Brugge off the scoresheet and the goalkeeper was forced into action again just before half-time when Abdoulay Diaby broke the offside trap and rounded the Argentine, only for Romero to claw the ball back and deny him before he could score.
United were clear just three minutes after the restart though, as a flowing passing move involving Memphis and Herrera was finished off by Rooney again from close range and the England striker bagged his hat trick when Juan Mata's neat ball put him through again.
Rooney almost had a fourth when racing clear, but Bolat got a touch to get his effort round the post.
It wasn't long in coming though as Bastian Schweinsteiger threaded a wonderful ball through to Herrera, who took his time and slotted the ball home with ease.
Brugge almost got a consolation as Hans Vanaken hammered a shot off the underside of the crossbar, but in the final 10 minutes Oscar Duarte conceded a penalty after a handball. Javier Hernandez slipped as he was taking the spot kick, however, and slid his effort wide as United ended the game with a comfortable 7-1 aggregate scoreline.