Two Manchester United stars named in BBC team of the week

Two Manchester United players have been named in the BBC Sport team of the week after this weekend’s 1-0 victory over West Ham.

Pundit Garth Crooks selected two United players, the joint highest, with Liverpool and Chelsea each with two players chosen.

He picked out winning goalscorer Marcus Rashford, a second half substitute, along with midfield maestro Bruno Fernandes.

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Crooks credits Fernandes with United’s recent improvement. He said: “The player at the heart of this mini renaissance is Bruno Fernandes. He was brilliant at Villa Park, outstanding against Brentford and at the heart of anything meaningful against West Ham.”

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Fernandes is United’s leading goal contributor with 18 (7 goals and 11 assists). Against West Ham he created four goalscoring chances, more than any player on the pitch, and more than the West Ham team did combined (3).

The improved form for Fernandes comes amid a tactical tweak from Ralf Rangnick to play him in a deeper role, a number 8 as opposed to a 10, allowing him to get more involved in the build-up play and help the team.

Speaking about Marcus Rashford, who has ended a spell of 11 games without a goal to net two in his last two games, Crooks praised his attitude.

He said: “This week Rashford came on as substitute against Brentford and West Ham and his attitude was nothing short of outstanding. In both fixtures he quickly put the games to bed within minutes of his arrival.”

Rashford’s brittle confidence has been restored thanks to his goals in these back to back games. They were important goals, helping United to back to back wins for the first time since early December.

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The international break comes at a moment where United are back on track. Unlike breaks in October and November where the players were miserable heading into them, the pressure is off a little after these results.

United will look to carry on the momentum when the games resume, starting with the FA Cup fixture with Middlesbrough next up.

First there is a transfer deadline to get past, and while there probably won’t be incomings, there are several players who could leave the club, and it will be interesting to see which of those fringe players remain on February 1.

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