Manchester United are looking like a brand new side with Bruno Fernandes a part of their roster. The Portuguese attacking midfielder has been instrumental in United’s recent run of brilliant games, with the ethos of creativity once again a full part of their playing style.
This was perhaps most evident in Thursday’s massive 5-0 victory over Club Brugge to gain progression into the Round of 16 of the Europa League.
In that fixture, Fernandes netted the opener with a cleverly taken penalty kick. He then went on to play a vital creative role in the two more goals of Odion Ighalo and Scott McTominay which were netted while he was still on the pitch.
The numbers are in favor of the former Sporting man yet again and his influence cannot be understated.
Bruno Fernandes’ game by numbers vs. Club Brugge:
25 final third passes
5 ball recoveries
4 shots (3 on target)
3 chances created
2/3 tackles won
A joy to watch. 😍 pic.twitter.com/qSol2ZbN1a
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 27, 2020
In fact, such has been his role since the late winter transfer that even Paul Scholes had positive words for him after the game, stating to BT Sport: “What do I like about Bruno? Everything so far. Creativity. His awareness on the pitch. Before the ball comes to him he knows what’s around him. He’s sensational — you just wonder why nobody else came in for him or why we didn’t get him in the summer.”
Scholes has found more than a few occasions over the years to be critical of his former club, with Paul Pogba, in particular, often on the receiving end of his disappointment.
As such, these positive comments for Fernandes are indeed a pleasant change and are thus an arguably more stellar profile of how good he has been during this limited sample space.
Meanwhile, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was frank in his outlook of the big win, stating (via BT): “The football we played at times pleased me the most. We started the game with great intent. We were playing with good rhythm and intent in our game and we got some great goals as well.”