Saturday, December 5, 2020

You wonder where Manchester United would be without Fernandes – Scholes

A Red Devils legend has suggested that his old club have become too reliant on the Portuguese playmaker

Paul Scholes has questioned where Manchester United would be without Bruno Fernandes after seeing him inspire the team’s first home win of the Premier League season.

United picked up an unconvincing 1-0 win over West Brom at Old Trafford on Saturday night.

Fernandes scored the all-important winner from the penalty spot in the 56th minute, but only after holding his nerve to convert a retake, having seen his first effort saved illegally by Sam Johnstone as he jumped off his line before the ball was kicked.

West Brom were unfortunate not to salvage at least a point from the game as a combination of wasteful finishing and strong goalkeeping from David de Gea allowed the hosts to hold on for a crucial three points.

Slaven Bilic’s side were also awarded a penalty of their own when Fernandes was adjudged to have fouled Conor Gallagher in the box early in the second, but the referee overturned his initial decision after checking the VAR monitors pitchside.

Fernandes’ latest goal marked his 19th in 34 appearances for United since his €55 million (£49m/$65m) move from Sporting in January, and Scholes has suggested that the Portuguese is carrying Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side with his contribution in the final third.

“It was an ugly win. Hopefully, that will give them a bit of confidence,” The Red Devils legend told BT Sport post-match.

“You do feel for West Brom. You do wonder where Man Utd would be without Fernandes. Before Bruno came in, United couldn’t create a chance.”

Scholes’ former team-mate Rio Ferdinand also heaped praise upon Fernandes, with the 26-year-old considered to be relishing his role as the main man in United’s starting XI.

“Everything comes through him (Fernandes),” Ferdinand said. 

“He’s a player who creates and takes on responsibility. It seems like he likes that.”

Fernandes and Co. will be back in action when the Champions League resumes on Tuesday, with Istanbul Basaksehir set to arrive at Old Trafford for a Group H encounter.

The Red Devils will then start preparing for another crucial Premier League outing as a tough to trip to St Mary’s to take on an in-form Southampton side comes into focus next weekend.

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