Club Brugge boss Clement blames Lazio draw on Dennis and Diatta’s inexperience

Emmanuel Dennis Club Brugge
The coach of the Belgian champions has explained reasons behind his side’s inability to secure all three points at home

Philippe Clement has blamed Club Brugge’s 1-1 draw against Lazio in Wednesday’s Champions League game on the inexperience of his side, which has young players like Emmanuel Dennis, Krepin Diatta and Charles De Ketelaere.

The Belgian champions started the top-European competition on an impressive note, securing victory over Zenit Saint Petersburg.

The Blue and Black then managed to clinch a point at Jan Breydel Stadium with Hans Vanaken’s strike cancelling out Joaquin Correa’s opener in the encounter.

Nigeria international Dennis, 22, featured for 88 minutes before he was replaced while Senegal midfielder Diatta, 21, was on parade for the entirety of the game.

The result ensured Club Brugge are second in the Group E standings with four points from two games, and they are behind Lazio.

Clement believes his side could have done better against the Stadio Olimpico outfit had they had more experienced players in their ranks.

"It's 90 per cent proud and 10 per cent disappointment. That disappointment is there because we have to improve in that one aspect: efficiency. This has to do with experience," Clement told the media.

"Charles De Ketelaere is 19-years-old, Emmanuel Dennis is 22-years-old, Krepin Diatta is 21-years-old. They don't always have that cold-bloodedness.

"Across the pitch was a team whose youngest player was 24-years-old. Lazio was a team with more experience."

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Dennis has featured eight times for the club in the current campaign across all competitions and was on the scoresheet in their opener against Zenit.

Diatta, meanwhile, has made 11 appearances for the Blue and Black across all competitions in the 2020-21 season, including two in the Champions League.

The African stars will be expected to help Club Brugge return to winning ways in the European competition when they face Borussia Dortmund on November 4.