Bruno Fernandes training ground story proves he was perfect man for free-kick 8 months ago

Bruno Fernandes training ground story proves he was perfect man for free-kick

MAN UTD 3-2 LIVERPOOL

Bruno Fernandes started this afternoon's FA Cup fourth round clash on the bench. He ended it as the match-winner for his side, yet again.

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The Portuguese was brought on, along with Fred, as Manchester United attempted to wrest back control of a game that was in danger of getting away from them. He certainly had an impact when it mattered.

Liverpool took the lead through Mo Salah when he evaded the United defence and chipped over the advancing Dean Henderson. Their advantage lasted only three minutes, though, as Paul Pogba made a vital tackle on the edge of his box, United broke and Marcus Rashford found Mason Greenwood with a sublime pass.

Greenwood had not scored in 10 games for united but his finish past Alisson was comprehensive:

That left it 1-1 at the break but when Greenwood returned the favour to Rashford, and the England international slotted past Alisson, it was United who hit the front.

The hosts were the architect of their own downfall, 10 minutes later, when they attempted to play out from the back and Edinson Cavani played a loose pass. Liverpool pounced en masse and Salah eventually drilled the equaliser past Henderson.

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With Jürgen Klopp bringing on Sadio Mané, the league champions were pressing for the match-winner and Salah could have made it 3-2. He will be disappointed to have shot straight at Henderson, though, and Trent alexander-Arnold did likewise just two minutes after.

Allowed off the hook, Fernandes made Liverpool pay. Edinson Cavani rolled Fabinho and won a free-kick in the process, just outside the box. Rather than curling the ball over the wall, Fernandes went the side Alisson was stationed on. Paul Pogba ducked as the strike fizzed past him and the Liverpool goalkeeper was helpless to stop it.

Post-match, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer told the BBC how Bruno Fernandes got in extra free-kick practice on Saturday, and all because he was a sub.

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"Great goal, good free kick. When you leave him out like I did today, he stayed about 45 minutes after training yesterday shooting free kicks. So, I was pretty confident he could score one if he got the chance. He's never happy with me when I tell him to go inside after training when he's playing the next day so he got some practice yesterday."

Fernandes conjured a lovely cross for Cavani that almost settled it but United held on and closed out a cherished win over their North West rivals.

OUR MAN OF THE MATCH: Marcus Rashford (Man United)


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