Bruno Fernandez: astronaut – athlete

three months ago, Manchester United He was humiliated in Eric ten Hag’s first Manchester Derby. This time it was different.

In that 6-3 loss, United’s tepid pressure made it easier for them to play And Pep Guardiola Manchester city They are not the type to need an invite. Since then, United’s organization off the ball has been improving, from their defensive line to pressing.

He appeared at Old Trafford when the two teams met again. Handsome man Kevin De Bruyne And Bernardo Silva by unique And Casemiro The City game was stifled as United’s tight front line pressed the City’s center back with Christian Eriksen Move up towards Rodri.

This means that they were City defenders, Joao Cancelo And Kyle Walker, who were free, but City couldn’t get to them fast enough to cause United trouble in the first half. That changed in the second half and through the right side City managed to take the lead as De Bruyne’s pass was found Jack Grealishhead.

However, if there is one person who knows where United’s threat will come from, it is Guardiola.

“When you attack a little bit faster than you need to attack, they attack you a lot, a lot faster,” he said after his side recorded an impressive win at Old Trafford last season. “In transitions, they are much better.”


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His words were prophetic on Saturday, as two quick attacks after United regained control gave them a lead they would not relinquish and secured. The title race took another turn.

Those goals were central Bruno Fernandezwho scored the equalizing goal (Not without some controversy) before preparing the move that ultimately brought the winner.

Besides professional strikers, Fernandez’s efforts in turnovers are often forgotten. For all his creativity in his natural possession sequence, the Portuguese is still a threat on turnovers. His awareness in these situations, combined with his passing and directness in attacking space, makes him invaluable at this point in the game.

When United get the ball back again, Fernandes knows which space to attack. in winning vs FulhamUnited’s first goal comes from an attacking transition after that Casemiro wins the ball in the middle of the field. as the ball reaches Anthony MarcialFernandez runs forward to provide a passing option, with Marcus Rashford moving around the field.

Seeing Rashford move inside and pull off Issa Diop With him, Fernandez continues to run to attack space.

Then it was found by Martial…

… And the Portuguese’s shot deflected away from Diop, and fell in front of Eriksen into an empty net. The Dane scores, but it is important to note Fernandes’ decision on which space to attack in transition. Knowing that Diop will go inside with Rashford, Fernandes attacks the empty space outside the Fulham defender.

This was also the case og vs spurs. Again, it’s a transmission and Anthony He has the ball on the right. However, Fernandez does not look at the ball. He looks up front to check for any space to attack. Rashford’s move continues Eric Dyer with him…

…and Farid’s motion asks a question about Christian Romero like Matt Doherty Still tracking back with Jadon Sancho Close to the right back of Tottenham. Fernandez sees the gap, and moves in that direction as he calls for a pass.

Anthony’s pass is a bit heavy, allowing Romero to intercept. But United recovered the ball and Fernandez put it in the net.

Fernandes’ intelligence in regards to attacking space makes him a good option when United break through quickly in attack, and that was essential against City. Despite not being in transition, United’s quick attack after they got the ball back caught Guardiola’s side by surprise, and led to an equaliser.

In preparing for this goal, Fernandez was in the center circle like Aaron Wan-Bissaka Find Casemiro Path on the right.

Before Casemiro gets control of the ball, Fernandez looks in front of him to see where the spaces are.

He notices Rashford’s run is moving Manuel Akanji out of position, and accordingly begins his career in the space vacated by the City defender …

… As he did so, he glanced over his left shoulder to get an idea of ​​Walker’s location.

Casemiro’s pass here is most likely intended for Rashford, who is in an offside position, but Fernandez’s advance provides a secondary option…

…and he scores to put United back in the game.

The other aspect of Fernandez’s profile that makes him effective in turnovers, is his vision and passing. When United wins the ball, he immediately tries to free himself or ask for the ball if he is in space.

In this example vs Nottingham ForestFernandes (yellow) directs Rashford (red) to attack the space behind Forest’s right-back, Serge Aurieras United began the transition.

This frees up space for Fernandez to move to A.S Tyrell Malacia He plays the pass to the United midfielder…

… It also offers a direct outlet at Rashford. Fernandes then plays the ball over the Forest defense and into Rashford’s path. From this transfer, United scored their second goal of the match as Rashford set up Martial for a shot from the edge of the box.

In another transition-related goal, Fernandez’s scan gives him an advantage once he’s on the flight. As Eriksen receives the pass from Diogo DalotFernandes looks over his right shoulder and notices Rashford preparing to charge forward.

So, when Eriksen plays the pass to Fernandes…

… He already knows where his next pass will be. United midfielder breaks through Arsenal Defending with a through ball puts Rashford in a one-on-one situation, and England Forward scores to make it 2-1.

This can be clearly seen in the derby as well. Fernandez’s transfer passes were crucial to United’s attack and eventually brought the winner.

In this example in the first half, Fernandes was looking over his shoulder for information on the position of Martial and Rashford as United recovered the ball inside the penalty area.

This prior knowledge of the whereabouts of his attackers meant that once the ball reached Fernandes…

… he only took two touches before finding Martial running behind the City defence.

This attack does not lead to a serious chance, but a similar attack later in the first half could have put United ahead. Here, Casemiro starts the United transfer by winning the ball back in midfield. As the Brazilian plays the ball in Fernandez, Rashford starts his career in space …

…and the Portuguese only takes two touches to find it.

Then Rashford rounded Edersononly for Akanji to stop his shot from entering.

In the end, it was Fernandes’ pass on the transfer that sealed United’s game.

After Team Ten Hag wins the ball, Alejandro Garnacho He sprints forward into space behind Walker as Fernandez sweeps the other side of the field. The Portuguese is already aware of Garnacho’s direction of play when United got the ball back. Fred then controls the loose ball…

… before playing in Fernandez’s way while Garnacho continues to run down the left flank.

Since Fernandez knows the positioning of Anthony and Garnacho, he plays a one-touch pass to the Argentine who later assists the winner for Rashford.

Fernandes’ decision-making on transfers is central to United’s threat at this stage of play, and was essential in the Derby Day win. If he keeps in good shape, who knows where he could take United this season?

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