Bruno Fernandes escaped with just yellow cards in Manchester United’s defeats by Liverpool and Arsenal despite VAR checking if more serious punishment was required both times
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Ian Wright declared Bruno Fernandes was “lucky not to get sent off” against Liverpool and Arsenal as he delivered a scathing verdict on the under-fire Manchester United playmaker.
Fernandes picked up a booking in both Premier League fixtures as United were beaten 4-0 at Anfield last Wednesday and 3-1 at the Emirates three days later. However, many fans felt he deserved more severe punishment for a late lunge on Trent Alexander-Arnold and stamp on Nuno Tavares, with VAR checking the incidents but choosing not to upgrade to a red card.
The Portugal international’s reckless challenges have come as he endures a poor run of form without a goal or an assist to his name in over two months. As a result, Wright insists he is not a productive presence in the Red Devils starting XI at present.
Speaking on the Ringer FC podcast, the former England striker said: “Seeing Bruno Fernandes just lashing out at people, lashing out at Trent really wildly, and then the challenge on Nuno, you look at it and you think to yourself, ‘that’s not what Manchester United need from you, my friend ‘.
“Manchester United need a lot more than you going around trying to top people. He was lucky not to get sent off. But this is what it’s come to.” Fernandes reached a new low on Saturday when he squandered a penalty and a brilliant chance to equalize against Arsenal, only managing to hit the post with his meek effort from 12 yards.
The scoreline was 2-1 to the Gunners at the time and Granit Xhaka would go on to seal the victory for the hosts with a thunderous drive from range. Defeat in North London left United sixth in the table, six points behind Arsenal having played one game more.
Should Bruno Fernandes have seen red for his challenges on Trent Alexander-Arnold or Nuno Tavares? Have your say in the comments!
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Up next for the Old Trafford club is a challenging home encounter with Chelsea on Thursday night. Fernandes’ compatriot, Diogo Dalot, issued a rousing message to his teammates after the loss at Arsenal, urging them to put their Champions League ambitions to one side and simply “fight” for each result.
“I don’t think it has to be our biggest focus now,” the defender said MUTV of a top-four finish. “It has to be our habits that we do every single day, the habits to come to training at Carrington with a good energy and with a mentality that we will give everything for this club because at this club we have everything. We have to fight for ourselves, for the club, for our families, for the fans that travel every time. ”