Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes delivered an impressive performance on Wednesday night as the club sealed a 2-0 win over Nottingham Forest in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final.
The Red Devils had a commanding 3-0 advantage from the first leg at City Ground but manager Erik ten Hag still picked a strong squad for the return meeting at Old Trafford yesterday.
Fernandes has been almost ever-present in the manager’s plans and the Portuguese produced another top display against Forest. He was awarded the man of the match for his efforts.
Over 90 minutes, the 28-year-old had 82 touches with 52 accurate passes. He was influential in the final with four key passes while completing 100 per cent of his long balls (5/5).
Fernandes has not been making regular goal contributions for United this season, but he has still caught the eye with his distribution as well as the terrific work rate off the ball.
United boss Erik ten Hag firmly admires him for the same. The club have now progressed to the final of the Carabao Cup for the first time since 2017 when they won the trophy.
They should start as favourites for the Wembley showdown on February 26 but it won’t be a straightforward game against one of England’s meanest defences in Newcastle United.
The Magpies have conceded just 11 goals in 20 league outings this term and also played out a goalless draw at Old Trafford. Eddie Howe’s side won’t make it easy for the Red Devils.
United will have to be at the top of their game to outclass the Tynesiders. Fernandes featured on the right wing in the second half yesterday as Jadon Sancho was handed the number 10 role.
Ten Hag acknowledged that this provides a different dynamic, making it difficult for the opponent to defend. He could try out the same set-up in the final at the end of the month.
For now, United must refocus on their league duties. They return to action on Saturday against Crystal Palace at home and will be aiming to avenge the late 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park in January.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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