Home » Erik ten Hag fires suspension warning to Player of the Match Bruno Fernandes

Erik ten Hag fires suspension warning to Player of the Match Bruno Fernandes

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United returned to winning ways in emphatic fashion as they thrashed Real Betis 4-1 in the first leg of their Europa League Round of 16 tie at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Manager Erik ten Hag had demanded a reaction from his players and they certainly provided one as they all but secured a place in the quarterfinals of the competition.

Ahead of the game, Bruno Fernandes had come under intense criticism from pundits, a section of the fanbase as well as former United legends because of his antics during the Liverpool debacle.

Bruno masterclass vs Betis

The Portuguese at one point was seen fighting with the assistant referee while he also appeared to give up at one stage with many calling for him to be stripped of the captaincy.

But the Portugal international gave the perfect riposte to his critics with a Man of The Match performance against the La Liga side on Thursday.

Instead of playing out on the wing, the 28-year-old was given the chance to operate in his favourite position and he put in a masterclass of a performance, pulling all the strings from a deeper position.

“He played a little deeper role tonight and he was brilliant, making the game from the back in position, a lot of good passes in between the lines. From there we created a lot of chances,” Ten Hag said during the post-match press conference.

A lot of former players sang his praises as well but there was one moment in the match where things could have gone awry.

Bruno must be careful sometimes considering the bad press

Fernandes, who is known for chasing lost causes, closed down a back pass to Claudio Bravo who rushed out from his goal and got to the ball just before the Portuguese midfielder.

The United captain attracted the ire of the away side and their fans for leaving in his foot in the challenge and the referee showed him a yellow card for his troubles.

Fernandes will do well to remember that the referees and the pundits are all trying to get him suspended or get a retrospective ban on him and he should be careful sometimes.

And that is also his manager’s advice. “It’s his strength and his passion but you are right, sometimes he has to control that.

“He has to bring it, it is his strength and when it’s too much it becomes a weakness, that’s true – he knows that and there are always small margins.”

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