Bruno highlights United's team spirit
Bruno Fernandes led the final whistle charge to hug Eric Bailly after his match-saving block in Manchester United’s nerve-jangling, thrilling 2-1 win against Aston Villa.
Our Ivorian defender’s added-on time block kept out a Keinan Davis shot, as Villa launched a late onslaught to snatch a point.
Bailly’s effort was the final key moment of the Old Trafford victory, which puts United level on points with Liverpool at the top of the Premier League.
And the squad’s response to the heart-stopping block signalled a spirit that our penalty-taking hero Fernandes wants to see grow.
“The most important thing for us is building a team, building a group of players who take care of each other. Today it was Eric making the block. But the main thing is being together,” Bruno told MUTV.
“I was seeing this in the stands in the last two or three minutes, everybody shouting and hoping we don’t concede a goal and to take care of the ball. Everybody wants the three points, everybody wants that win and we have to build this more and more.”
Bailly’s late intervention was just part of a late stubbornness in the Reds ranks as Villa fought for a point, but our Portuguese midfielder wants United to cut out the need for such nail-biting drama.
“It was tough. We have to learn from this,” he said.
“We have to last the game much better. We had some situations to close the game, you have to close the match and try and score because we know that teams can score.
“If we close the game early it is better. It is better. We have to take care of this.”
United took a 40th-minute lead with an Anthony Martial header before Bertrand Traore equalised early in the second half. But Fernandes’ spot-kick three minutes after the leveller calmed the nerves.
“To score so quickly is good for the mind because at 1-1 if you keep going and going and going you can start missing passes and make mistakes so getting that goal so quick was good for us,” said Bruno.
Paul Pogba was in stellar form having a hand in both goals as he produced a superb piece of skill to start the move for Martial’s goal and then being brought down for the crucial penalty.
“I think today Paul was top,” said Fernandes.
“The first goal he makes very good skill. We all know the qualities he has. It is not in doubt here. I hope Paul’s qualities are not in doubt. We know he can play, we know he can help us and today he was involved in both goals.
“He will give more and more and more with the confidence coming game after game.”
It was a great start to 2021 for the Reds and now Bruno has his eyes set on Manchester City next Wednesday in the semi-final of the Carabao Cup.
“Good start, three points. We have to keep going. We have another competition to play (against City) and we want to be in the final.”