Fernandes: The second half was much better

Monday 20 February 2023 07:00

Bruno Fernandes acknowledged that Manchester United’s second-half display was much better than the first, as we overcame a strong Leicester City start to beat Brendan Rodgers’ side 3-0.

During an early period of the match, when the visitors attacked the Stretford End, we had to rely on some stern defensive work and two magnificent David de Gea saves to keep the Foxes at bay.

But Bruno’s brilliance unlocked Leicester’s defence at the other end, with a perfectly timed through ball from the Portugal international finding Marcus Rashford to open the scoring after 25 minutes.

Watch Bruno's pitchside chat Video

Watch Bruno's pitchside chat

Liam Bradford and Luke Chadwick caught up with Bruno Fernandes just after the final whistle...

From that point onwards United enjoyed much more control – particularly in the second half – as we scored twice within little over 15 minutes of the restart, thanks to a much-improved display.

Fernandes was at the heart of the action all afternoon, also providing the assist for Jadon Sancho’s strike as well as setting up Rashford’s opener, and he explained to MUTV how the Reds went about upping the intensity in the second half.

He said: “I think obviously we didn’t enter the game really well, we gave them some chances, David did some great saves, amazing saves, that’s why he’s one of the best in the world.

“But we should have controlled better the ball, the possession, in the first half, and in the first 15 minutes. After that I think we get the control of the game.

“I think the second half overall was much better than the first one, but we didn’t concede and we score our goal in the first half, which makes us in the second half be more proactive and understand what we should do to get more goals and more stability in our possession.”

Also key to our success this afternoon was the continued form of Marcus Rashford, who now has 24 goals this term for the Reds – his highest ever tally for a club season with still well over three months of the campaign to play.

“It's been unbelievable for us,” Bruno continued, speaking of our no.10’s form. “Obviously, we want to enjoy his moment, carry on, because he’s been really important for us, his goals have been a big part for us.

“Today, again, it was amazing, even sometimes when you can think he’s a little bit out of the game, he can make his runs, he can go in behind, he can out-run people and score because he finishes really well, strong. We have to enjoy his moment and make sure that he carries this on because we have to serve him.

Bruno congratulates Marcus after the two combined for our opening goal.

United now turn our attention to Barcelona’s highly anticipated visit for the return leg of our Europa League play-off tie this Thursday and, with our unbeaten run at home now stretching to 17 games, Bruno is keen to ensure Old Trafford continues to prove a fortress.

“It has to be [a fortress] because this place is amazing. The atmosphere that the fans create for us is unbelievable, we’ve been saying this for a while, even last season when the moment was not the best, they always stay behind, they always push us.

“So, we know how they appreciate the effort we do, we know this season how the belief is between everyone involved in the game; us, staff, fans and everyone.

“It’s about carrying on the momentum because we know everyone that is coming here now is thinking in a different way than they thought in the last season.”