At 2-0 down at half-time, things looked very bleak for Manchester United against Atalanta, but Bruno Fernandes played an influential part in turning the game around.

It looked like it was going to be one of those games for Fernandes and United, we huffed and puffed, missed some great chances, but also always looked capable of conceding another.

Fernandes at times looked like he was going to drag us back into the game with a moment of brilliance but then he would inexplicably give the ball away.

But one thing you cannot take away from our number 18 is his desire and willingness to try over and over again to make something happen for his team.

What do the numbers say about Fernandes’ display

Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Charlotte Tattersall – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

The former Sporting Lisbon captain lost possession 33 times against Atalanta, he was very sloppy with the ball at times, there is no getting away from that.

But he was at the heart of everything. The 27-year-old made eight key passes against Gian Piero Gasperini’s side with three of those registered as big chances (SofaScore).

 

It was Fernandes’ clever pass that released Marcus Rashford, who slotted home to breath new life into Old Trafford and create a sense of panic in the travelling side.

No player had more touches of the ball than our ‘Portuguese Magnifico’ (95).

Manchester United v Atalanta: Group F - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

He also won nine ground duels, four tackles and was fouled five times. The latter two stats were also the most in the game.

With the likes of Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo in your side, you stand a chance of overcoming any deficit.

And for all the moans and groans within the Theatre of Dreams when Fernandes lost possession cheaply or he failed to beat the first man with a cross, he was always going to leave every ounce of energy on that pitch to bring his side back into the match.

Fernandes is always going to have an influence on matches and we’ll need him to be at his very best against Liverpool on Sunday.

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