Bruno Fernandes had a poor game for Manchester United against Atletico Madrid. And yet, as he often does, he popped up with a decisive contribution.
Fernandes played a pass into Anthony Elanga in the 80th minute who slid his shot past Jan Oblak into the back of the net.
Elanga’s direct run gave Fernandes an outlet to pass to and the Portuguese star used his creativity to devastating effect.
This was Bruno Fernandes’ sixth assist in the Champions League this season, in this sixth match. He was rested for the final group game.
This broke an existing record held by ex-Red Devils star David Beckham, who had provided assists in five consecutive matches.
The conundrum with Fernandes is that even when he is not having a good game, he can still come up with a crucial moment to swing it back in United’s favour.
He was not the only United player to perform poorly, with Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford having particularly disappointing games.
Fernandes now has 14 assists this season, to add to nine goals all scored from open play.
He will want to further extend his Champions League record with a seventh assist at Old Trafford in the second leg in a fortnight’s time.
The 1-1 draw was a good result for United to take back to Old Trafford, even without the away goals rule.
Ralf Rangnick praised Fernandes’ ‘fantastic pass’ in his interview on BT Sport after the game.
The Portugal international was playing in his first ever Champions League knockout game, and he can say he made a telling impact. There is hopefully plenty more to come.