Liverpool hosted Manchester United this weekend in a much-awaited fixture, only to underwhelm fans with an unexciting draw.
The Reds created numerous chances but the forwards failed to convert all of them. And although United did not create as many, the chances which were created gave the opponents some scares in the second half, but ultimately the match ended in a goalless draw.
Star players – the likes of Mohamed Salah, and Bruno Fernandes – failed to deliver an above average performance. Salah was just not clinical today while the Portuguese failed to create any chances for his teammates upfront.
Although Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford also disappointed, one can make a case for them as not every match can be a player’s day. But Fernandes is starting a trend of delivering mediocre performances against big oppositions.
Even if the ex-Sporting Lisbon man has contributed goals or assists to such games, his influence throughout the game was usually not up to the mark.
Tonight the attacking midfielder’s final ball lacked any apparent venom, much like most of his previous matches against a top-six opposition. The playmaker couldn’t even complete 60% of his passes whilst doing tragically bad on duels, delivering mediocre long-balls and offering nothing in defence whilst losing possession quite often.
Is it just me or is Bruno Fernandes having a really bad game? His on-ball quality hasn’t been there and his off-ball involvement has been lax — he’s been losing his man often, reacting late to passes and more.
— UtdArena (@utdarena) January 17, 2021
until Bruno Fernandes has a good performance in a big game, don’t ever compare him to the best midfielder in world football. pic.twitter.com/iOrZ94GwZp
— (@IeeSZN) January 17, 2021
Another big game, another Bruno Fernandes stinker. Penalties & assists vs the bottom half of the league doesn’t make you the best midfielder in England..
— Conn (@ConnCFC) January 17, 2021
Bruno’s allowed a bad day at the office, he’s turned this Club around. Wasn’t that long ago we had Pereira and Lingard running about in midfield. Show him some respect, he’s got us at it.
— Gaz (@CantonaManc) January 17, 2021
Bruno Fernandes and Rashford look absolutely exhausted mentally and physically they’ve carried this massive club all season.
Should be rested either against Fulham or Liverpool in the FA Cup.
— The Red Devils (@utdtrd) January 17, 2021
Fernandes hasn’t been as good because he’s playing like 180 minutes a week for gods sake the solution is letting the man rest
— Kees van Hemmen (@HemmenKees) January 17, 2021
Obviously the Portuguese international is a talented player and also a key figure for his side, but that means Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will rely even more on him in key games.
Even great players can create room for improvement and the 26-year-old needs to find a way to bring his usual influential self into games against tougher oppositions.