Coming on at half-time with his team already 4-1 up on aggregate after Wayne Rooney‘s first half goal, the German pushed the knife into an ailing Brugge side with a masterful midfield display.
Schweinsteiger’s manipulation of the ball and forward thinking approach thwarted any threat from the home side; his defence splitting pass that teed up Man United’s fourth goal was nothing short of breathtaking, and somewhat personified the German’s exquisite display.
United’s attack managed to run riot in the second half and it was mainly thanks to the 31-year-old’s calmness on the ball against a Brugge side who were desperately looking for goals, which inevitably left space for attackers to run into.
Perhaps Schweinsteiger’s performance will encourage Louis van Gaal to continue using Schweinsteiger as an impact sub, who specialises in coming on to turn the screw on tiring opposition players.
However, many will argue that Schweinsteiger’s quality merits a starting place every game. Van Gaal’s side certainly look like a more confident outfit with the German player in their side. With 22 major honours, which includes a Champions League winners’ medal, the Dutchman would be wise to involve him frequently in Europe this season.
One question remains, however. Given that Schweinsteiger is United’s only German player, why didn’t he take the penalty?