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23rd Jul 2023

Bruno Fernandes pulls Erik ten Hag away from official during Arsenal friendly

Callum Boyle

Bruno Fernandes


Tensions nearly boiled over during Manchester United’s pre-season friendly against Arsenal on Saturday night after captain Bruno Fernandes had to pull away Erik ten Hag from an official.

United beat the Gunners 2-0 in New Jersey after goals from the newly-appointed permanent captain and Jadon Sancho in the first half as both sides got another good run out ahead of the 2023/2024 campaign.

Despite being labelled a friendly, the game was anything but that as tackles flew in all across the pitch.

Ten Hag was seen getting frustrated on multiple occasions but the decision not to award United a penalty in the first half left the Dutchman incensed and he could be spotted giving the fourth official plenty of grief.

Fernandes then rushed over and pulled him away from the incident and helped cool his boss down. Referee Rubiel Vazquez did speak to the United boss at half time and subsequently mirrored a much calmer persona in the second 45.

Bruno Fernandes Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag on making Bruno Fernandes captain

Before the game, Ten Hag explained the reason why he chose to give the Fernandes the armband on a permanent basis after Harry Maguire confirmed last week he would step back from the role.

He told the club’s wesbite: “A good team is always covering areas as leaders, team players, multi-functional players, specialists, individualists. But you need some leaders in the team, on the pitch, who are guiding the team, who are building the team, who are controlling the quality of the performance.

“I chose, Bruno because he is a great inspiration. He is the example. He always wants to be a better football player, working very hard to give his maximum performance. So he is the mirror for many players and he is a good social connector.

“He is also very good at game understanding. So, for a manager, it’s very good to have that intermediary on the pitch.”

Check out our interview with the Irish women’s team record goal scorer Olivia O’Toole here.

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