Manchester United’s 85 million dollar man was given his full debut in his first opportunity from manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Given Bruno Fernandes‘ quality and creativity, the pressure was high on the Portuguese international. He played all 90 minutes, but how did he perform? Let’s have a look.
Player Rating: 6
Solskjaer wasted no time giving Fernandes an opportunity to show his quality, deploying him as the number 10. He wouldn’t stay there though, as with 15 minutes to go in the first half he was switched to the number 8. Without the ball, he showed good movement and willingness to make himself available to his teammates. Throughout the match, he could be seen asking and wanting the ball. At times he did seem a bit too slow in his movements when involved in the play. He allowed the defenders to close on the ball too easily and gain possession. Overall, he had a few good passes, some good long-range passes, wasn’t shy in shooting, and didn’t give the ball up cheaply to the opposition.
- Free Kick — From 30-35 yards out, he had an opportunity to loop in a ball, giving someone a chance, but it was hit too hard and sailed out of bounds
- Shot — Gaining possession 25 yards from goal, he seized an opportunity provided by the defense giving him plenty of space. However, the shot went wide right and didn’t challenge the keeper.
- Missed Pass — As a number 8, he couldn’t pick out Daniel James, who had made a great run into the box, as the pass fell to a defender. Scoring chance wasted.
- Bad Turnover — His lone really bad pass was an attempted long pass to Anthony Martial that found the defender.
- Really Bad Shot — His best opportunity of the day to make an impact didn’t come to be. Sitting at the top of the box all alone, the ball found him. He took it first time with great pace, but it went straight at the keeper. Seconds later, he took another shot from equal distance that went wide, however, this one was contested by defenders, so no fault there.
- Great Switch of Play — Fernandes did excellently to pick James out on the cross, but James misjudged the pass. United, unfortunately, wasted a great opportunity.
- Yellow Card — Raul Jimenez was racing down the pitch and Fernandes pulled him back. Easy decision for the referee. United had enough defenders back to deal with the threat, but midfielders will always get caught in those types of plays.
- Best Effort of Day — In the 58th minute, Fernandes found himself eyeing up a free-kick from 25 yards out. The shot was hit with pace, the ball was dipping, and required the keeper to move. However, after not catching the ball cleaning, it was saved comfortably.
- Longest Effort — The back of his scouting card says he loves to shoot from way out and he proved that in the 68th minute trying one from 35 yards out. While the shot probably finds the lower-left corner, it was saved easily.
In the end, it was a good day for Fernandes. He got comfortable playing with new teammates and got a taste of the Premier League. Without a doubt, he found the Premier League harder than the Portuguese league, so he’ll need time to settle in. With a healthy midfield around him, life should be easier with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay as well. United will be happy they finally have the guy they chased for over a year and know better performances are ahead.
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