Bruno: Edi can smell the goal

Monday 30 November 2020 08:00

Bruno Fernandes says Edinson Cavani’s ability to “smell the goal” was a big reason behind the Uruguayan coming off the bench to be the catalyst behind’s Manchester United superb comeback victory over Southampton on Sunday.

The 33-year-old entered the fray at the break, with the Reds 2-0 down. First, he set up Fernandes to pull a goal back on 59 minutes, before heading home twice himself, including a brilliant winner in injury-time.

Fernandes was delighted to see Cavani make such an impact and also pointed out the importance of his work off the ball, as shown in our Champions League win over Istanbul Basaksehir in midweek.

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“When you have strikers who move a lot, and they give you the chance to play balls for them, it is really good,” he told club media. “I think every striker we have gives us options. I don't want to go on personally about Edi or another player because it's not fair, but of course Edi has qualities, everyone knows that.

“For me, he's one of those strikers that can smell the goal as you saw twice. He smelt the goal, you need to have this feeling to score these two goals. As I said some weeks and some months ago, Edi will help us and he is helping already. For me, one of the best games he played was against Basaksehir in the Champions League and nobody talks about that because he didn't score but he did an amazing game. He helps a lot and he will help more and more in the future.”

Bruno’s staggering stats continued against Southampton as he notched his 36th goal involvement in 36 games for the club – 22 goals and 14 assists. The man himself was pleased to play his part once again, but insisted team affairs come before personal ones.

“I'm happy to help the team. Of course the assist is not really an assist [laughs] but I will take it!” he added. “I'm happy because we win. Of course every player wants to score. The point now is to look [out] for each other. We need to keep winning because we want to be at the top of the table and we have to fight.

“This game was against a tough opponent,” he added. “I think if you take out the big clubs, as you say in England, I think Southampton is the team that can play a lot of quality football in the Premier League. They have quality, they have runners, they fight. They have such good quality and it's difficult to beat them. I think the sacrifice we made in the second half and the way we ran and helped each other was fantastic. We played well in the first half but we conceded goals from set-plays and we will work on that as we are not happy with that.”

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Asked about playing in midfield alongside the impressive Donny van de Beek, making his Premier League debut, Bruno said: “Every midfielder in our team has quality. Donny has a lot of quality. We know we can play together and also with other players we have in the team. Everyone has quality to play and we know each other.

“We can play with three today then switch and play the next game with another three or another four. It doesn't matter because all of them have quality and we can all be together on the pitch, and everyone can make a difference. Donny played a really good game but Fred and Nema [Matic] were really important to us. They worked and they worked and they were two players who calmed down the game and moved the ball. In the second half, that was crucial, they recovered a lot of balls and they ran a lot.”