Bruno Fernandes’ performance against Norwich City was not one he will remember fondly.
He was the only attacker asked by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to start his third match in eight days, and it showed.
Fernandes looked tired, with his final ball falling short of what he is capable of.
And despite that, he still kept going, and produced a game changing moment which had a big impact in winning the game.
Moments of quality
Fernandes’s most impactful moment came when he turned his body to spin Timm Klose in the 88th minute, and the German defender had no option to bring him down.
Klose was sent off, and that opened the gates for an extra-time period which turned into an attack v defence practice match.
United ultimately made the extra man count, and it was thanks to Fernandes’ clever play that United had the advantage.
By the numbers
Fernandes’ shooting was poor at Carrow Road. He was wasteful, attempting seven shots at goal, and landing just one on target.
He also completed a low 73.5 per cent of his passes. But this is who Fernandes is.
He takes more risks, than say Jesse Lingard, who completed 89.5 per cent of his passes. Lingard did not create any goalscoring chances.
Fernandes by contrast created five chances, and it was due to these qualities that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer kept him on the pitch even when he was seemingly having an off day.
The attacking midfielder’s work rate did not let up. Fernandes never shied away from the challenge of helping United reach the FA Cup semi-final.
He managed 134 touches in total over the 120 minutes, more than any player on the pitch.
He also made four tackles and he sought to regain possession for United, in some cases after he had given it away.
So while this was not a game for Fernandes’ highlight reel, it was a match which showed just how good he is.
For if this is Fernandes at his worst, it is clear that his lowest level of performance is far higher than some others can offer even at their best.
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