United Briefing: Fernandes equals Lampard record
Bruno Fernandes scored his 27th goal of the season for Manchester United in the 3-1 win at Aston Villa, sending Emiliano Martinez the wrong way as he dispatched a second-half penalty.
No Premier League midfielder has scored as many goals since Frank Lampard found the net 27 times for Chelsea in the 2009/10 season. Fernandes's goalscoring consistency this season has played a crucial role in United's league position and journey to the Europa League final.
The Portuguese has been a serial winner of awards since joining from Sporting in January 2020 and Sunday afternoon was no different as United fans voted him Man of the Match in the poll in our Official App.
90 in 20: Aston Villa 1 United 3Video
Like Lampard, a number of Bruno's goals have come from the penalty spot. It's a testament to his team-mates' ability to force pressure in the box but also to how reliable he is in such situations. His colleagues were keen to point that out in the aftermath of Sunday's victory.
Mason Greenwood told MUTV:
“We always knew Bruno would put it in the back of the net,” while Luke Shaw spoke about the 26-year-old practising penalties in training.
“I knew Bruno was going to score the penalty,” Shaw insisted.
“We practised them yesterday after training, me and him, for about 20 minutes, so if he didn’t score, I would have got at him! I’m there just to push Bruno along, to make sure he’s not being sloppy!”
With five games remaining for United this season, Fernandes has plenty of opportunities to continue his scoring form, beat Lampard's record and set a couple of others while he's at it.
If Bruno can find the net three more times before the end of the season, he'll be the first United player to hit 30 goals in a campaign since Robin van Persie in the title-winning campaign of 2012/13.
To put his achievements into context, it took Bruno's compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo 149 games to hit the same tally of 27 goals for the club. It's taken Fernandes nearly half as many (76 appearances).
Ole's verdict on Villa victoryVideo
HIGHEST SINGLE-SEASON TALLIES IN THE LAST DECADE
Wayne Rooney - 34 goals - 2011/12
Robin van Persie - 30 goals - 2012/13
Zlatan Ibrahimovic - 28 goals - 2016/17
BRUNO FERNANDES - 27 goals - 2020/21
Romelu Lukaku - 27 goals - 2017/18
Elsewhere on Sunday, other records were being set. Mason Greenwood became the highest-scoring teenager for United in Premier League history. Edinson Cavani has now scored five goals off the bench this season, a United tally only matched by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 1998/99 and Javier Hernandez in 2010/11 (five each).
On a team-wide level, United have now come from behind to win on 10 occasions in the Premier League this season. No other team has achieved the feat so many times in one season. The Reds have now earned 31 points from losing positions since September.
WHAT'S HAPPENING TODAY?
You can catch up on the best bits from Sunday's victory but focus must quickly turn to Tuesday evening's home match against Leicester City. You'll be able to hear from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with the manager's press conference available to watch in the afternoon.
United's Under-23s host Derby County at 19:00 BST. It's the second time the two teams have faced each other in a week. Last Monday, United put six past the Rams with doubles from Anthony Elanga and Shola Shoretire and others from Ethan Galbraith and Omari Forson. The game will be shown live on MUTV with coverage starting at 18:45 BST.
Elsewhere in the footballing world, Fulham face Burnley in the Premier League.
WHAT HAPPENED YESTERDAY?
United wrapped up Champions League qualification for next season with a 3-1 away win against Aston Villa. West Ham's 1-0 defeat to Everton later in the day made it mathematically certain that we'll be in Europe's elite club competition from September.
United Women finished their WSL campaign with a 2-0 win against Everton. Ella Toone scored early on and Jackie Hanson added a clincher to end the season positively, although Casey Stoney's side will be disappointed to miss out on Champions League qualification by only one point.