Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Bruno Fernandes owns up to big mistake v Leeds as ’embarrassing’ Man Utd pair are destroyed by Michael Owen

Bruno Fernandes of Manchester United surges into space past Wilfried Gnonto of Leeds United during the Premier League match at Old Trafford

Bruno Fernandes admits he needs to smarten up after taking the blame for Leeds United’s opening goal in their 2-2 draw at Manchester United on Wednesday.

The managerless Whites put their current troubles to one side with a whirlwind start at Old Trafford. Indeed, Willy Gnonto’s excellent strike after just 55 seconds was the second fastest goal scored by an opposing side in the Premier League at Old Trafford.

The Italy forward combined well with Patrick Bamford to unleash a sweet low strike inside David De Gea’s post. It was his fourth goal in Leeds colours in just 10 starts and underlines again what a bargain he is for just £5.3m. One Leeds insider was absolutely right with this prediction about the teenage star.

However, the move was started after Fernandes was robbed of possession by Pascal Struijk.

Leeds went on to go 2-0 at the start of the second half, before goals from Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho salvaged a draw.

However, after the match, the Portuguese midfielder was quick to reflect on what might have been. And he took responsibility for his part in the opening goal and knows he needs to do better.

“We’re not happy, obviously, with the result,” Fernandes told Premier League Productions.

“Our main goal today was to win the game. We didn’t, we get one point, it’s really frustrating because we started the first half and second half really badly, conceding goals in the first few minutes.

“The team had a great reaction, it was a massive reaction and great to see it, but it wasn’t the result we wanted.”

Bruno Fernandes accepts Man Utd blame

Asked if the changes Erik Ten Hag had made disrputed the Red Devils side, Fernandes insisted not. And he admits he needed to be stronger on the ball in the build-up to their opener.

“It was nothing to do with [team] changes, it doesn’t mean anything. In the first few minutes of the game we conceded a goal, I should’ve been stronger in the second duel. I won the first but in the second I should’ve been stronger. They got the ball then they scored a goal.

“After I think we had control of the game, they did nothing. I think we did pretty well, created a lot of chances but not good enough to score the chances.

“We have to look forward now to the next game, it’s coming quick, it’s them again, away. It will be a big game again but hopefully a different result for us.”

While Fernandes has saved Manchester United’s skin time and again, he has again illustrated why he is captaincy material with his admission.

And with Sunday’s game now just three days away, Michael Owen reckons the Red Devils were fortunate not to lose the match.

Michael Owen points finger at ‘criminal’ Man Utd duo

And the former England striker reckons Leeds were unfortunate not to conceded a third when a Brenden Aaronson free-kick hit the base of the post. That would have restored their two-goal advantage at the time.

However, speaking to Premier League Productions, Owen was not happy at the role Rashford and Raphael Varane played in their defensive wall.

Pointing the finger at the pair, the pundit destroyed the duo for their ‘criminal’ defending.

“I couldn’t believe it, I couldn’t believe this wall,” Owen said.

“Look at the way they split – Varane and Rashford they just split. The ball goes low, right through the middle, it didn’t go over the wall at all.

“If that goes in, and they both turn away, that’s criminal, that’s criminal. I mean, if that goes in there’s serious, serious words being had after.

“You simply cannot do that. You need to be big, brave and bold in a wall and to turn your back and split. Everything you cannot do they did there.

“They’ve got away with it. They better look at that and think, ‘wow, that’s pretty embarrassing, we can’t do that again’.”

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