Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes lavished praise on under-fire captain Harry Maguire after their thumping win against Newcastle United on Saturday night.
The Red Devils took to the pitch for the first time since their humiliating 6-1 home loss against Tottenham Hotspur prior to the international break. Their clash at St. James’ Park also got off to a dramatic start as Luke Shaw lobbed the ball into his own net after a freak deflection with less than 120 seconds on the clock.
However, Harry Maguire brought his side back into the game with a bullet header in the 23rd minute. Manchester United unleashed a late flurry of stunning goals in the last few minutes of the game and eventually won 4-1.
Fernandes lauds Maguire after Manchester United win
Fernandes was impressed by his captain Harry Maguire’s display on the night as the registered all three points away to a tricky opponent. Speaking on the Englishman’s display, the 26-year-old said;
“He [Harry Maguire] is a big man. He is playing for the national team [England] and Manchester United. It is of course difficult for every player being under fire but he did what he had to do on the pitch. He scored. We can push him and he can push us.”
The English centre-back has come under immense criticism in recent times over his form. Maguire was also involved in a dramatic saga away in Greece during the summer and got into legal trouble with the Greek authorities.
The goal and the win against Newcastle United would have come as a much-needed confidence booster for Maguire as well as the Manchester United squad as a whole.
Speaking on his team’s impressive performance after their emphatic win, the Portuguese midfielder expressed;
“We played really well today. The game was fantastic for us. Newcastle [United] have a really good team, they play well and have good players, but I think we deserved the win today.”
The game at Newcastle also saw Bruno Fernandes miss his first-ever penalty in top-flight football as his second-half effort from the spot was saved by a defiant Karl Darlow to keep his side in the game.
The former Sporting CP skipper, however, made amends with an absolutely stunning finish from close range to cap off a well-constructed team move to give Manchester United the lead.
What’s interesting was that the run-up didn’t include the Portuguese’s trademark jump just before striking the ball. Fernandes admits to changing his run-up in order to keep his opponents guessing. He explained;
“I already change sometimes. Today it doesn’t work.”
“I want to put the ball more in the corner, but it was not good enough. Congratulations to him [Karl Darlow] on being the first to save a penalty in the Premier League from me. That’s 11 taken and one missed. Now people can say I can miss a penalty.”
“I need to do what is better for the game, today was not the right choice, but it doesn’t matter. I missed the penalty, and I have to keep improving in the next games.”
Manchester United are set to face French champions Paris Saint-Germain next in the UEFA Champions League.
Also read: 10 Biggest Ballon d’Or wins in football history
Published 18 Oct 2020, 15:55 IST