Manchester United beat City 2-1.

What Bruno told the players before the derby

Saturday 14 January 2023 15:36

Bruno Fernandes says Manchester United are a team, in every sense of the word, after the Reds secured an amazing comeback to beat Manchester City 2-1 at Old Trafford.

The Portuguese midfielder played a key role in the famous win, bringing Erik ten Hag’s defiant men level after Jack Grealish’s opener, deep into the second half.

Marcus Rashford maintained his rich form for the winner, becoming the first United player since Ruud van Nistelrooy to score in seven consecutive games.

Fernandes: I'm really proud Video

Fernandes: I'm really proud

The scorer of our equalising goal, Bruno Fernandes, thought today's result showed the strength of United's squad...

“It’s obviously important to win the game,” Fernandes told BT Sport. “The manager said before the game, it doesn’t matter about the opening, the most important thing is winning it. It was an amazing comeback and great effort from the team.”

Our win is even more remarkable when you consider the 6-3 defeat City inflicted on United last time the two sides met in October. As Bruno suggests, the squad is now working harder for each other, highlighted by an unbeaten run of seven wins post-World Cup.

“I said it before the game to the team: ‘We look like a team now.’ Some time ago, you could see sometimes [we were a team], sometimes each one of us was looking for ourselves. Now you see a proper team that works hard for each other and you see that it pays [off],” said Bruno.
Fernandes’s equaliser came after a heart-in-mouth moment for the home fans. Casemiro’s through pass caught CIty’s defenders sleeping but was in the path of Rashford, who was offside. 

He decided against touching the ball, though, as Fernandes latched onto it, instead with a curling finish that left Ederson no chance. The customary VAR check helped determine Rashford wasn’t interfering, and from there, United went on to win the game.

“Because I was facing the goal, Marcus probably saw that I was in a better position,” said Bruno. “I didn’t know if any one of us was offside or not. The only [defender] close was the defender close to me, so it is what it is. It’s a goal at the end, we’re really happy for that.”

United move to within one point of second-placed City, who could go eight behind Arsenal if the Gunners win the north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.
Bruno Fernandes kept his composure to level the scores at 1-1.
Fernandes believes our current position doesn’t matter to him, and is instead keen for the team to not get ahead of themselves, prioritising hard work and focus to finish the season strong.

“We have to look forward," he stated. "We have to look forward for the next game because you can be closer, but if you don’t keep winning, it will go. So, the mentality now has to be celebrating because it’s a big win, it’s a long day today, so we have to celebrate that. 

“But from tomorrow, straight away, it’s Crystal Palace. It’s always tough to play there, we all know that. So our focus has to be straight on that.”