A subdued Manchester United side managed to hold onto a 1-0 lead against Burnley to secure their first away victory in the Premier League this season.
United continued to struggle with their ongoing injury crisis, with the likes of Jonny Evans, Scott McTominay, and Hannibal Mejbri making up the numbers in their starting 11.
Clearly, the lack of first-choice midfielders was a major hurdle for Erik ten Hag’s men, who managed to maintain only 38% possession against the recently promoted home team.
United also managed just 11 shots, four of which were on target.
Although his general performance in the middle of the park saw plenty of room for improvement, captain Bruno Fernandes was the sole driving force of United’s attacking game, ultimately proving vital to their narrow victory.
Completing 17 of his 31 passes, Fernandes severely underperformed when it came to passing accuracy.
He also completed only one out of three long balls which left a lot to be desired, while his inability to win any of his three ground duels was also poor by his own standards.
Still, the Portuguese midfielder more than made up for such shortfalls in the attacking third.
Generally, when United burst forward, Fernandes was on high alert.
He made two interceptions while pressing the Burnley defence, helping to advance United’s pressing game, while he also made two key passes and completed two of his three attempted crosses.
Most notable was the United captain’s goal threat.
All three of Fernandes’ shots were on target, making up three of United’s four accurate shots – the only other shot being a fairly non-threatening effort from Scott McTominay.
The United captain’s moment of glory came on the stroke of half time, when a soaring cross from Jonny Evans fell perfectly for Fernandes, who unleashed a fiery volley into the back of the net to seal the three points for United.
While Fernandes may have underwhelmed with his passing and individual duels success rate, his lethal attacking ability made all the difference when it came to securing the three points.
Ultimately, it’s Fernandes’ ability to make the most of few chances that could prove to make all the difference as United look to turn their season around following a shaky start.