Bruno Fernandes celebrates his goal against Spurs

Fernandes ready to sacrifice for the team

Wednesday 19 October 2022 23:55

Bruno Fernandes encapsulated everything that was excellent about Manchester United during the 2-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur on Wednesday night, scoring the second goal in a memorable performance as captain.

Ever committed and ready to put in a shift, Fernandes played a little further forward against Spurs, dictating play with clever movement and sharp passing across the front line. It was his most expressive performance of the season, and indeed the Reds’ best attacking display since Erik ten Hag took over, in front of a jubilant Old Trafford crowd.

Such is the playmaker’s quality, his slower rate of goals and assists has come under scrutiny this campaign. Bruno made one thing clear after the game, though: he is willing to do whatever it takes to help the team succeed, even if it impacts his personal output.
Highlights: United v Tottenham Video

Highlights: United v Tottenham

See the best of the action from an enthralling evening of Premier League football at Old Trafford...

“I don’t like the words ‘being the main main’,” Bruno told Amazon after ex-Red Patrice Evra suggested he plays better when in a leading role. “Sometimes on the pitch, there are players that need to attack. I have always said: ‘I am a good anchor, I have to work hard.’ It was my way to play since I was a kid.

"Obviously, you want to get your goals. You like to have this [lifts his Man-of-the-Match trophy],” Fernandes continued. “I understand my position. I know some players that are on the pitch, I respect their position and I know, in moments, I will need to do different things to get the best out of them. I don’t ever wish to not sacrifice myself to get the best out of my team-mates.”

Fernandes executed this philosophy against Spurs with a tone-setting display. He was all-action; pressing high to halt the visitors’ progress, spraying progressive passes to Marcus Rashford ahead of him, and finding pockets of space that Spurs continually failed to detect.

As alluded to by Reds legend Evra on the Amazon broadcast, Fernandes is perhaps a victim of his stunning early form for United. 

He racked up 26 goals and 19 Premier League assists in his first season-and-a-half after joining in January 2020 from Sporting Lisbon. His influence is as strong as ever, and if Bruno plays well, United generally grab three points.

His best performance of the season comes at a great time for the club. United are in a fierce battle for a top-four place and head to Chelsea on Saturday. The Blues are just one point ahead of United in fourth place after their 0-0 draw with Brentford, a result that will give Fernandes and the team great hope for the Stamford Bridge clash.

If Chelsea’s scalp is to join the impressive collection of Arsenal, Liverpool and Spurs this season, you can bet Fernandes will be at the heart of it.