Magic Moment: Fernandes's dummy against Everton

Monday 08 June 2020 14:00

'Goals win games' is a famous adage in football, but sometimes a moment of random, isolated, seemingly meaningless brilliance can be twice as exciting.

Bruno Fernandes provided such a moment in our 1-1 draw with Everton at Goodison Park in March.
We didn't win the game in this instance (even though Bruno did score a goal) but, after watching this particular piece of play, you didn't feel too concerned. My only thought was this: if we keep this Fernandes lad in the side, we'll be scoring plenty of goals, and winning plenty of games.
Relive Bruno's stunning piece of imagination.
The slice of marvellousness I'm referring to arrived on 61 minutes.
Fred fired a ball into the Portuguese, who was stationed inside the centre circle with his back to goal, as United attempted to counter.
Everyone watching on television, and maybe a percentage inside the stadium, could see Mason Greenwood starting a run in behind the Toffees’ defence.
Without looking, Bruno moved towards the pass, and then simply let it run beyond him, and straight into the young Academy star’s path.
Maybe it sounds mundane typed out in words. He just let the ball run...
But how did Bruno see Greenwood’s movement, when he was facing the wrong way?
How did his brain process that the trajectory of a ball intended for him would, if left alone, run perfectly into the 18-year-old’s path, bisecting any Everton defenders? How did he work out, in a nanosecond, that Greenwood would be onside?

Watch: The best of Bruno so far! Video

Watch: The best of Bruno so far!

Bruno Fernandes has made quite the impact at Old Trafford since signing for United at the end of January…

It was a piece of god-like omniscience; the kind that only the most unique and creative players could have conjured.
Sadly, Greenwood was not able to plot United’s final route to goal, but that seemed almost beside the point.
The comparisons between Bruno’s impact and that of Eric Cantona in 1992/93 have been made often, and this indeed was the kind of thing Cantona would often deliver at his best: clever and unusual bits of cunning that opened the pitch up for his team-mates.
It might even look obvious when you watch the replays back. But how many other players do you see delivering dummies like Bruno’s at Goodison?
Catch up with Bruno Fernandes Video

Catch up with Bruno Fernandes

We all love Bruno’s chant, but which Red sings it to him all the time? Watch to the end of the video to find out…

Without wishing to over-egg the pudding too much, the moment it most reminded me of was Pele’s famous dummy against Uruguay in the 1970 World Cup, where he allowed the ball to drift around the opposition goalkeeper without touching it. If you don't know it, have a look on YouTube. The crowd's boiling excitement tells you everything.
Pele’s magic also failed to lead to a goal. But it delivered a clear message to almost everyone else: I am operating on an entirely different level.
To any Reds watching, it seemed like Fernandes was sending out the very same message.
And, as a fan, that sure feels like a win to me.

We'll be recapping a Magic Moment from United's 2019/20 campaign each day as we count down to our first match back, against Tottenham, on Friday 19 June.