After their matchday three victory, Birmingham City are well placed to reach the UEFA Europa League knockout stage as they prepare to play Club Brugge again in Group H.
Birmingham won 2-1 when the sides met for the first time in UEFA competition on matchday three. The game also represented Birmingham’s first UEFA tie with a Belgian team.
Chris Wood scored ten minutes into added time to make Birmingham the first English side to win at Club Brugge in eight attempts. Joseph Akpala (3) had put the home side in front, but David Murphy (26) drew the Blues level, before Wood’s (90+10) last gasp winner secured all three points for the visitors.
The lengthy added time was due to a long stoppage during the second half, after Pablo Ibáñez was carried off following a clash of heads with Joseph Akpala. The victory was only Birmingham’s second away win in UEFA competition.
The Blues took on R. Union Saint-Gilloise in the 1959 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup semi-finals, the non-UEFA affiliated precursor to the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League. They won 4-2 away and at home.
Club Brugge have now played 17 games against English sides, with a record of W6 D2 L9 (W0 D1 L8 in England). They lost to Liverpool FC in the two-legged 1976 UEFA Cup final and 1-0 against the same side in the 1978 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final, which was staged in London.
Birmingham boss Chris Hughton came up against Club Brugge as a Tottenham Hotspur FC player in the 1984/85 UEFA Cup second round; his side lost 2-1 in Bruges but won the return fixture 3-0 at White Hart Lane.
The 2010/11 English League Cup finalists, Birmingham lost their first UEFA home game on matchday one, going down 3-1 to SC Braga. They had beaten CD Nacional 3-0 in their UEFA Europa League debut at St Andrew’s in the play-offs.
Club Brugge’s 2-1 win at Braga on matchday two ended a five-game wait for a European away win, and secured them only their second victory in 13 UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stage away games, with their overall record W2 D7 L4.