Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba

Bruno issues fighting talk to Pogba and France

Wednesday 16 June 2021 11:56

Manchester United and Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes has jokingly thrown down the gauntlet to Paul Pogba and France, after the two sides took early command of Group F at Euro 2020.

Fernandes played 89 minutes as the reigning champions clinched a 3-0 victory over Hungary in Budapest, with all three goals coming late in the game.

With his job done, our no.18 could settle back and watch titans Germany and France go head to head at Munich’s Allianz Arena, with Pogba starring for the World Cup winners and playing a vital role in Mats Hummels’s own goal, which settled the contest.

France were unlucky not to add further strikes, as Kylian Mbappe was twice ruled offside, when scoring and setting up Karim Benzema, but Pogba was the best performer on the pitch and claimed UEFA’s official Star of the Match award – the second Red to do so at the competition, after Victor Lindelof for Sweden on Monday.

Lindelof stars against Spain article

Get the detail on the performance that earned our centre-back UEFA's 'Star of the Match' award.

On Instagram, Bruno congratulated his team-mate on his performance, but suggested that Paul should enjoy his success while it lasts.

‘Happy for you, but MVP [most valuable player] only today,’ Fernandes cheekily wrote on his Instagram story, alongside a short clip of Pogba receiving his award.

Portugal take on Germany next, with France facing Hungary, but everyone is already looking forward to what could be the group decider next Wednesday, and a clash between two of United’s most creative players.

France v Portugal was, of course, the final of Euro 2016 and Didier Deschamps’s side will be keen for revenge in front of a full house at the Puskas Arena.

England fans could also have one eye on that fixture, as the eventual winners of Group D will play the Group F runners-up in the round of 16.

We can’t wait to see what happens!

Star man Pogba explains 'biting' incident article

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WHAT ELSE HAPPENED YESTERDAY?

Fernandes and Pogba were the only United players involved at the Euros yesterday, but youngster Hannibal had a night to remember as he made his first start for Tunisia. The Eagles of Carthage played Mali in a friendly in Rades, with the 18-year-old featuring for 70 minutes. Anis Ben Slimane scored a late winner for Tunisia in what was their final game before the resumption of the World Cup qualifiers in September.

Hannibal has already made three appearances for Tunisia's senior side.

WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY?

Daniel James and Dylan Levitt will be looking to help Wales take a huge step towards qualification for the next round, when they face Turkey in Baku at 17:00 BST. Robert Page’s side drew 1-1 with Switzerland in their tournament opener, but will be up against it in Azerbaijan, with the 30,000-strong crowd at the Olympic Stadium expected to be dominated by Turkish fans.

Although Levitt has yet to feature in this competition, James was one of the Dragons’ stand-out players at the weekend. According to Opta, after the first round of fixures, Dan boasts the fourth-highest average carrying distance of any player in the tournament. He progresses 16.4 metres each time he attempts to run forward while in possession, behind only Ludwig Augustinsson (Sweden), Tymoteusz Puchacz (Poland) and Cengiz Under (Turkey).

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