Bruno Fernandes responds to criticism over big-game performances & hits out at players-turned-pundits

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Bruno Fernandes responds to criticism over big-game performances & hits out at players-turned-pundits

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has this weekend provided his take on the recent criticism of his performances in ‘big games’.

Fernandes dazzling

Gifted midfielder Fernandes of course made the move to Old Trafford on transfer deadline in January of last year.

And whilst, at the time, there was understandable excitement surrounding his arrival, few could have predicted just how significant an impact the Portuguese would go on to have on the fortunes of his new side.

Fernandes has played an absolutely central role for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United since his arrival, having added a new dimension of guile and creativity to the club’s midfield.

All told, across 22 appearances in his first half-season in Manchester, the former Sporting CP man directly contributed to 20 goals.

The current campaign, to this point, meanwhile, has seen Fernandes’ production continue at a frankly staggering rate, with the 26-year-old having, at times, almost single-handedly carried a hit-and-miss Red Devils outfit through moments of individual brilliance.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 07: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team's first goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on November 07, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 07: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates after scoring his team’s first goal during the Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on November 07, 2020 in Liverpool, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images)

‘I don’t need to see the stats’

Amid his stellar stint in Manchester to date, however, there has been one persistent criticism aimed at United’s midfield star.

This comes in the form of question marks surrounding his performances against the Premier League’s other ‘top’ clubs.

Such qualms came back to the fore in a major way last weekend, when, on the back of a disappointing display versus Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, it was revealed that Fernandes has managed just a solitary goal contribution across 7 appearance versus the so called ‘top-6’ to this point in the season.

In turn, with a derby showdown with Manchester City to come on Sunday, it came as little surprise when the Portuguese was today drawn on his big-game production (or lack thereof) during a pre-match interview on Sky Sports.

Fernandes, though, was in defiant mood, assuring that he is fully aware that his most recent showings have not been up to scratch, a fact which the former Sporting man does not require stats to remind him of:

‘The teams who are in the top-6 in the table, I score against some of them. I scored this season against Tottenham, but people say penalties doesn’t count.’

‘I know people is waiting, expecting Bruno to score every game, assist every game because when I arrived I was playing really well, and I want to do that.’

‘I don’t look for the ‘big-6′ or the rest of the league. I look for every game in the same way. If they look at the stats in the last two games against the big teams, my accuracy on passing was good, just against Chelsea (last weekend) it was not really good.’

‘I agree in the last two games, I didn’t play really well, and I know that. I don’t need to see the stats to see if I play well or not.’

Bruno Fernandes responds to criticism over big-game performances & hits out at players-turned-pundits

TURIN, ITALY – FEBRUARY 18: Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United celebrates a goal with teammates during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32, first leg match between Real Sociedad and Manchester United at Allianz Stadium on February 18, 2021 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images)

The Red Devils star then turned his attentions to ex-players who have perhaps been overly critical of both he and his teammates of late, explaining:

‘Sometimes I’m a little bit sad about people who knows about football saying so many things I don’t agree (with), talking about the moment when, in the past, some of them was players and they know football is not the moment, it’s not the past, and it’s not the future. It’s about all of these (combined).’

‘So, it’s sad to see some stuff people (are) saying about the team, about me, but honestly, if people want to complain about ”we don’t score in the big games, we always draw”, I’d prefer if they say it’s Bruno not playing well. I can have that pressure on my back.’

Check out the interview in full below:

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City FC 27 39 65
2 Manchester United FC 27 21 51
3 Leicester City FC 27 15 50
4 Chelsea FC 27 17 47
5 Everton FC 26 6 46
6 West Ham United FC 26 9 45
7 Liverpool FC 27 12 43
8 Tottenham Hotspur FC 26 15 42
9 Aston Villa FC 25 11 39
10 Arsenal FC 27 7 38
11 Leeds United 26 -1 35
12 Wolverhampton Wanderers FC 27 -9 34
13 Crystal Palace FC 27 -14 34
14 Southampton FC 26 -13 30
15 Burnley FC 28 -16 30
16 Brighton & Hove Albion FC 26 -7 26
17 Newcastle United FC 26 -17 26
18 Fulham FC 27 -12 23
19 West Bromwich Albion 27 -36 17
20 Sheffield United FC 27 -27 14
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 17
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United FC 15
Kane, Harry Tottenham Hotspur FC 14
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur FC 13
Bamford, Patrick Leeds United 13
Calvert-Lewin, Dominic Everton FC 13
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City FC 12
Gundogan, Ilkay Manchester City FC 11
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United FC 10
Watkins, Ollie Aston Villa FC 10
Rashford, Marcus Manchester United FC 9
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City FC 9
Barnes, Harvey Leicester City FC 9
Zaha, Wilfried Crystal Palace FC 9
Lacazette, Alexandre Arsenal FC 9
Aubameyang, Pierre-Emerick Arsenal FC 9
Maddison, James Leicester City FC 8
Ings, Danny Southampton FC 8
Soucek, Tomas West Ham United FC 8
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City FC 7

Source: 101greatgoals.com