Bruno Fernandes was awarded with the Player of the Match trophy, and I think that the Portugal international was fully deserving of the award.
🚨🚨| Bruno Fernandes wins the official Man of the Match award. 🎖️ pic.twitter.com/5MnG1KO3d4
— centredevils. (@centredevils) February 1, 2023
Even though he did not register an assist or score a goal, Fernandes was heavily involved in United’s attacking play as he tried to make things happen and he produced an outside-of-the-boot pass that found Marcus Rashford at the back post and the England international then played a simple ball across goal that allowed Fred to tap home and make it 2-0 to confirm United’s spot at Wembley.
The Portugal international started the game in his usual number 10 role but after the introduction of Jadon Sancho in the 63rd minute, the 28-year-old, moved to the right and he was just as effective in that role as throughout the game, he made four key passes and he completed two crosses in what was a worthy Player of the Match display.
Bruno Fernandes’ game by numbers vs. Nottingham Forest:
84% pass accuracy
5/5 long balls completed
4 key passes
3/4 ground duels won
2 crosses completed
1/1 dribble completed
Magnifico. 🪄 pic.twitter.com/QP7xvyZkfb
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) February 1, 2023
It does not really matter what position the Portuguese plays because you know that he is going to give 100 per cent for the shirt, and this is what makes him unique amongst the United fans. Another thing that goes underappreciated is his ability to do the other side of the game because last night, there was one occasion whereby he helped his team out by winning a free-kick in his own half off Emmanuel Dennis, who came into the starting line-up after an injury to former United player, Jesse Lingard.
I feel as though when attacking, the United number eight’s ability to play on the right or in the number 10 role is a valuable asset for Man United because if he plays on the right it encourages his team-mates to switch the play because when the midfielder is on the right, he has more time to pick out players in the centre, and if he plays in the centre, he is just as effective, because of his high-risk and high-reward passes that he makes into the final third, which creates goal scoring opportunities for his team-mates.
Hopefully, the United number 8 will be able to continue his excellent form that has seen him rack up 3 goals and 4 assists in his last 9 appearances for Erik ten Hag’s side [Transfermarkt] as he looks to help United win their first trophy since 2017.