Manchester United comfortably beat Brighton and Hove Albion 3-0. Bruno Fernandes was on the score sheet twice, whilst Mason Greenwood scored his 13th goal of the season. The victory leaves United just two points behind Chelsea in fourth and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are unbeaten in 15.
Bruno Fernandes Shines as Manchester United Cruise to Victory
Comfortable in Possession
Bruno Fernandes was not only excellent in terms of his goalscoring escapades, but he allows United to break teams down. His progressive passing style instils confidence in his teammates. Therefore, United move the ball around comfortably and quickly.
The new-look midfield of Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba, and Nemanja Matic has the perfect blend of quality and balance to cause the opposition plenty of issues. Fernandes links up with the attack and Pogba roams free from deep. Matic’s role is crucial as he holds the midfield together; he is the vital piece in the jigsaw.
Manchester United often struggle to break robust defences down. Earlier in the season, they could not get past defences that sat deep. The introduction of Bruno Fernandes has nullified this issue with his passing range. He improves the passing of everyone around him too. Against Brighton, United’s passing was crisp, slick and effective. As a result, United found the space to create big chances. Bruno hit the post after 12 minutes due to a great passing move.
It was Mason Greenwood who found the space for the opener. The 18-year-old received the ball on the right-hand side before committing three Brighton defenders. He wriggled through the Brighton trio before unleashing a deadly poked finish into the bottom left-hand corner. The goal has earned recognition as similar to ex-United striker Robin Van Persie. Greenwood now has more goals at this stage of his career than Marcus Rashford.
Bruno Fernandes doubled United’s lead after the Red Devils dominated possession. A slick move down the left-hand side gave Luke Shaw space to pull the ball back. His drilled cross reached Paul Pogba, who then set it up for Fernandes. The Portuguese struck the ball and, via a deflection from Alexis Mac Allister, found the bottom corner.
Manchester United’s phenomenal first-half display was eventually dwarfed by United’s third goal. Though United controlled the game throughout, they were lethal on the counter-attack. On 50 minutes, they embarked on a classic Manchester United counter.
Harry Maguire made a headed clearance from his box which found Nemanja Matic. The Serb played a pinpoint sprayed pass to Mason Greenwood on the left. Greenwood travelled 20 yards with the ball before lifting the ball over to Bruno Fernandes, who volleyed the ball past Matt Ryan. 12 seconds passed between Maguire’s header and the ball bulging in the net.
This counter attack epitomised what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is doing at Manchester United. The Ferguson years saw United become the most famous counter-attacking side in the world. Solskjaer is attempting to rehash this system with a modern twist. The 4-3-3 with two eights appears to be passing all tests with flying colours.
It is Bruno Fernandes who is bringing it all together for United. He adds an extra layer of dynamism to United’s play, making his side comfortable in possession. His expert passing constantly means opposition defences must concentrate for every minute, otherwise they will be punished.
It was a promising and encouraging display from Manchester United against Brighton. They were clinical and efficient but they are now adding consistency. They are now fifteen games unbeaten going into the run-in. United are now waiting for Chelsea to slip up as they lie just two points behind. Confidence is high in the United camp as Solskjaer’s men attempt to reach the Champions League and secure their first trophy since 2017.