Manchester United attacker Bruno Fernandes produced a mixed Premier League display as the club struggled to find the back of the net against Watford on Saturday.
The Red Devils were far from convincing in the midweek European meeting against Atletico Madrid but salvaged a 1-1 draw after a wonderful cameo from Anthony Elanga.
They were still widely fancied to beat the Hornets on their home turf. A third-straight victory seemed on course after a bright start, but they could not find their way past Roy Hodgson’s side.
Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Anthony Elanga all spurned scoring chances. Fernandes was probably the most disappointing of the trio with another frustrating attacking display.
The Portuguese has shown signs of returning to form in recent weeks and was poor against the Hornets. Fernandes was unfortunate with a ninth-minute effort that was blocked by Ronaldo.
However, he squandered a one-on-one chance against Ben Foster just moments later. In the 18th minute, he could have redeemed himself, but his volley from the six-yard box was off target.
As the game went on, frustration seemed to set in for the 27-year-old. The playmaker had several attempts from outside the box, which were comfortably blocked by Hornets defenders.
Fernandes finished the game with just two of his eight shots on target, winning just three of eight duels.
He was dispossessed a staggering 22 times over 90 minutes, but the Hornets never looked like scoring.
With an xG of 2.53 against Watford’s 0.51, it was pretty much a one-sided affair. Fernandes was far from his clinical best and must get his act together for the difficult games ahead.
United are scheduled to face Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur, Atletico Madrid (Champions League round of 16 second leg) and Liverpool before the next international break.
The Manchester derby has now become a hugely important fixture, with their top-four hopes already fading.
United are two points ahead of Arsenal in fourth place, but the Gunners have three games in hand.
The north London club face the Hornets away from home next weekend. A victory would see them jump to fourth before the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium. The game is a must-win for the Red Devils.
Stats from SofaScore.com.
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