Manchester United were dealt a devastating blow to their Premier League title hopes on Saturday night.
Bruno Fernandes’ best efforts ultimately proved to be in vain as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side threw away a two-goal lead against Everton despite leading twice at Old Trafford yesterday evening.
The 26-year-old doubled their advantage shortly before half-time with a sensational long-range strike past Robin Olsen after Edinson Cavani’s opener.
But the lead was short-lived with the visitors fighting back after the break courtesy of goals from Abdoulaye Doucouré and James Rodriguez.
Scott McTominay then grabbed his second goal in as many games, nodding home Luke Shaw’s excellent cross to restore their lead.
Everton restored parity for a second time, however, with pretty much the last kick of the game as Dominic Calvert-Lewin took advantage of some sloppy defending from United to score from close-range.
Cavani may have opened the scoring but we feel Fernandes deserves plenty of recognition too.
The Portuguese star has often been tasked with being United’s main creative asset in the midfield and last night was no different as he tried to make the magic happen.
A return of 78 touches saw him ranked fourth in the entire game, bettered only by his teammates McTominay, Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof, as per SofaScore, implying that he dominated possession and dictated play.
Fernandes made three key passes, that being the most out of any player from either side, and took four shots overall, including one shot on target, which just so happened to usurp Cavani’s tally of two shots in total.
And his effort at Old Trafford, which was ultimately cancelled out by Everton’s remarkable comeback, gained plenty of praise from Jamie Redknapp. The player-turned-pundit waxed lyrical about Fernandes’ goal.
“What a goal. I love this guy. He’s such an amazing player,” he said. “Everything about him, he’s a showman, little bits of skill. He lets the ball run because he knows he’ll get the next one off Wan-Bissaka.
“He looks up to cross it, that’s not on and this is dipping. There’s so much aggression and violence in this shot, it’s just going everywhere. It’s so difficult to stop.
“I knew he was going to be a good player when he came to United. Did I think he’d become great so quickly?”
It marked a return to the kind of form that Fernandes has gained a reputation for following his arrival from Sporting Lisbon as he has now scored in back-to-back Premier League games for the first time since December after experiencing a mini goal drought.
With trips to Chelsea and Manchester City on the horizon, this will come as welcome news for Solskjaer as his side attempt to perform a dramatic turnaround in form.
AND in other news, Manchester United handed huge Jadon Sancho boost as Dortmund reduce demands…