Rooney treble seals Manchester United's Champions League berth

Berlin: English giants Manchester United sealed a spot in the Champions League group stage with a 4-0 win against Club Brugge.

German side Bayer Leverkusen and Russian eam CSKA Moscow too entered the group stage draw this week, reports Efe.

Wayne Rooney
Wayne Rooney. Pic/ AFP

This is the first time the Champions League will feature a team from Kazakhstan, Astana, who notched a 1-0 win in its home match against Apoel Nicosia and then drew its Wednesday second leg play-off 1-1 with a goal by Serbian Nemanja Maksimovic in the 84th minute.

BATE Borisov also qualified, thanks to the away goal rule, despite losing 2-1 to Partizan Wednesday after a 1-0 win on home turf.

After failing to qualify for the Champions League for the first time in 19 years in the last edition, Manchester United returned to the prestigious championship thrashing Club Brugge 4-0 after a 3-1 win in the first leg play-off last week.

After Memphis Depay, who scored two of the three goals in the home match, it was star striker Wayne Rooney's turn to shine with a triple score.

Rooney, who has not scored in the four games United has played this season, put away passes from Depay, Ander Herrera and Juan Mata but was thwarted in his attempt for a fourth goal by Sinon Bolat in the 59th minute.

Four minutes later Ander Herrera hammered United's fourth goal and a missed penalty by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez prevented the visitors scoring further.

Also in Thursday's draw will be Bayer Leverkusen that reinforced its 1-0 win in the first leg match with a 3-0 victory Wednesday over Lazio whose defender Brazilian Mauricio was sent off in the 68th minute.

But the Roman club could not blame its numerical disadvantage having been thoroughly outplayed by the German giants right from the start.

Hakan Calhanoglu opened the scoring in the 40th minute and was followed by Admir Mehmedi in the 48th minute and Karim Bellarabi in the 88th minute, sealing his team's victory.

Meanwhile, CSKA Moscow had to wait for the closing minutes of the match to secure its qualification with a 3-1 victory against Portugal's Sporting who had defeated the Russian club 2-1 in the first leg.

The team from Portugal struck first with a goal by Teofilo Gutierrez in the 36th minute but was quickly surpassed by its opponents with two strikes by Seydou Doumbia in the 49th and 72nd minute and another by Ahmed Musa in the 85th minute, dashing any hopes Sporting might have had of qualifying.


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