Manchester United stars Jonny Evans and Bruno Fernandes have made the BBC Team of the Week.
Both players featured in Man United’s one-nil victory over Burnley on Saturday, combining to produce a brilliant goal in an otherwise drab performance.
Evans in particular will be pleased to have his efforts recognized.
The 35-year-old has had a somewhat difficult start to his second Man United career and has been written off by many who have felt that his age makes him unsuitable for United.
For instance, the Manchester Evening News have previously described Evans as being “unsuitable“, with Chief Manchester United writer, Samuel Luckhurst, claiming:
“Jonny Evans, 35, is not viewed as a sufficient replacement to Maguire.”
Following a calamitous cameo against Arsenal, and a less-than-satisfactory outing in the international break, the doubters seemed correct.
However, against Burnley, Evans displayed the solidity and on-the-ball quality that Erik ten Hag has tried to instill in his team since his arrival.
With 8 clearances, 1 interception, 100% success in ground and aerial duels, and 91% passing accuracy, Evans was arguably United’s standout performer with a stellar defensive showing.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, however, the Northern Irish international was also arguably United’s biggest attacking threat.
In the first half of the game, he contributed with a clinical header that was unfortunately ruled out for an offside against Rasmus Hojlund.
He followed this up by eventually supplying a precise ball over the top that found Bruno Fernandes, who finished with trademark finesse to earn his own place in the BBC Team of the Week.
As Garth Cooks, who chooses the award, put it:
“Evans was the star performer against Burnley. The Northern Ireland international had a headed goal disallowed, played the most exquisite pass to Bruno Fernandes to volley home and helped United keep a clean sheet.”
Other than the goal, Bruno had a somewhat indifferent game with possession lost 18 times from 49 touches, 55 per cent pass accuracy, and a zero per cent success rate out of 2 attempted dribbles and 4 ground duels.
While Bruno’s ability to deliver game-winning contributions remains unmatched, Erik ten Hag will be concerned about introducing more control into United’s game, something the arrival of Sofyan Amrabat is meant to help with.