Manchester United secured a 4-1 win over Real Betis in Thursday’s Europa League clash and Bruno Fernandes was one of many players who impressed, drawing high praise from Erik ten Hag.
The United manager lauded Fernandes’ performance in Friday’s pre-match press conference, saying the 28-year-old did well to confound his critics while showcasing another string in his bow by heading home from a corner.
Ten Hag told ManUtd.com: “I think he showed big personality by giving this performance and leading the team, and I thought it was brilliant. He has so many skills, and now scoring with his head from a corner.”
Fernandes had a hand in three of United’s four goals on the night. Just five minutes into the game, his cross from out wide was deflected into the path of Marcus Rashford who fired home into the roof of the net.
Minutes after the restart, he fed Antony on the right who cut inside and curled an effort into the top corner. And just before the hour mark, the Portuguese international headed home a Luke Shaw corner from close range.
Fernandes created five chances, had 97 touches of the ball, had three successful dribbles, whipped in eight crosses with 37.5% finding a teammate, made three tackles and had 68 passes against Betis.
No United player made more opportunities, had more dribbles, whipped in more crosses or made more tackles, so it’s no wonder Ten Hag was so impressed.
Thursday’s performance was important for Fernandes after the criticism received from United’s 7-0 defeat to Liverpool. The 28-year-old was full of confidence against Betis and will hope to pick up where he left off in Sunday’s home clash with Southampton.
Fernandes has made 41 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring eight goals with 12 assists, so he’s having a prolific campaign under the Dutchman.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com