EPL

Fernandes says Man Utd can bounce back, but Haaland boasts: 'Manchester is blue!'

By Sports Desk October 02, 2022

Bruno Fernandes admitted Manchester United were destined to lose the derby from the opening minutes because they did not trust themselves.

The midfielder was part of a team over-run by a vibrant Manchester City, who tore to a 6-3 victory thanks to hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.

City led 4-0 at half-time and later held a 6-1 cushion, before United grabbed a pair of late replies from substitute Anthony Martial.

It was gruesome watching for anyone on the red side of Manchester, particularly as United had been on a four-game winning run in the Premier League going into the game.

"The belief from the beginning was not the best and I think that caused us many problems and made us concede early goals," said Fernandes.

Fernandes captained United in the absence of the injured Harry Maguire, but he could not imbue the side with the confidence to shake off a rocky start.

"I think the second half was much better," Fernandes said. "We kept control more, we controlled the game whenever we had the ball. We were down on the result, so we had to take some risks.

"And obviously, when we took that risk, we scored straight away. We tried to [go forward] a little bit more, but then we conceded more goals. You can't give that much space to City."

United 'won' the second half 3-2, but it was emphatically City's day.

Fernandes has just one goal and one assist in seven Premier League games this season, after 10 goals and six assists last term.

In the previous campaign he managed 18 goals and 12 assists, so new boss Erik ten Hag will be hoping to draw that mercurial level of form from the Portuguese playmaker, rather than the watered-down version that has been served up of late.

"Obviously, we are really disappointed," said Fernandes, speaking to MUTV. "But now it is time to focus on the next game and understand we have to get back the performances we did before [the international break], and the belief and togetherness, and understand that this cannot get us down. It has to make us improve for the future."

The next game for United is a Europa League meeting with Omonia in Cyprus on Thursday, while they return to Premier League duty at Everton on Sunday.

Haaland used his social media accounts to gloat after his and City's sublime performance, declaring: "Manchester is blue!"

Fernandes and United are in no position to question City's superiority at present, and it is a rebuilding job again, just as it was after the early season losses to Brighton and Hove Albion and Brentford.

United followed those setbacks by beating Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester City and Arsenal.

Everton, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Chelsea present their opposition over the next four games, with Fernandes eager to banish the derby blues.

"We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we've had tough games before and won them," he said, "so I think it's about mentality, attitude, togetherness and belief in the process."

Related items

  • Still no Lukaku start and Hazard on bench for do-or-die Belgium clash Still no Lukaku start and Hazard on bench for do-or-die Belgium clash

    Romelu Lukaku remained on the bench for Belgium's game against Croatia and was joined there by Red Devils captain Eden Hazard.

    Belgium have endured a tumultuous week ahead of a World Cup match they almost certainly must win in order to advance from Group F.

    Reports of a rift within the camp were dismissed as "fake news" by Roberto Martinez at his pre-match news conference.

    In the same media briefing, Martinez said Lukaku – who returned from injury as a substitute in the defeat to Morocco – was "ready".

    However, he added: "Now we have to see how much he can play."

    The answer, it appears, was not enough to start, with Lukaku again left out of the XI and finding company on the bench in the form of skipper Hazard.

    Michy Batshuayi, Lukaku's deputy, also made way as four changes saw an apparent move to a 3-4-3 formation.

    Dries Mertens looked set to lead the line, supported by Yannick Carrasco and Leandro Trossard.

    Croatia were unchanged after beating Canada 4-1 in their previous match to take control of the group heading into matchday three.

  • 'We wish him much health' – Pele gets message of support from Brazil's World Cup squad 'We wish him much health' – Pele gets message of support from Brazil's World Cup squad

    Pele is in the thoughts of Brazil's World Cup stars as he undergoes treatment in hospital, head coach Tite said on Thursday.

    Three-time World Cup winner Pele, regarded among the greatest players of all time, is receiving medical care at home in Brazil.

    The 82-year-old underwent surgery to remove a tumour from his colon last year, and has been in and out of hospital since.

    His daughter, Kely Nascimento, has said there is "no surprise or emergency" over her father's hospitalisation after he was admitted this week.

    Particularly coming at a time when a World Cup is taking place and he is not present, the news of Pele needing hospital attention has caused concern for many.

    Tite read out a statement before taking questions at Brazil's press conference, saying: "We all wish a lot of health to Pele.

    "We found out the news from the press. He’s the biggest representative of the national team and we wish him much health. That is the feeling of all the squad, we wish Pele the very best."

    Pele's daughter said in her statement on Wednesday that "the media is freaking out again", adding that she planned to visit her father in the new year, with her brothers visiting at present.

    As Brazil got their tournament under way last week, Pele sent the squad a message of good luck. He was a World Cup winner in 1958, 1962 and 1970.

    He wrote on Instagram: "Today we start writing a new story. No matter the size and tradition of the opponents: we must respect and play each match with the focus of a final.

    "It is important to play beautifully, yes, but it is also essential to leave everything on the pitch.

    "Today, we will be more than 200 million hearts beating as one, vibrating with each achievement of our Selecao.

    "I am sending all positive energies to you. I'm sure we'll have a happy ending. God bless you. Bring this trophy home!"

    Brazil have begun their campaign with a 2-0 win over Serbia and a 1-0 success against Switzerland, rounding off their Group G campaign against Cameroon on Friday.

  • England should be feared by other nations at World Cup, says Rice England should be feared by other nations at World Cup, says Rice

    England have a good enough squad to win the World Cup and should be feared by other competing nations, according to Three Lions midfielder Declan Rice.

    Gareth Southgate's side finished top of Group B with seven points after beating Iran 6-2 and Wales 3-0 either side of a goalless draw with the United States.

    It is the first time since 2006 that England have finished top en route to the last 16, where Group A runners-up Senegal now await on Sunday.

    Following shock defeats in the group phase already for France, Argentina, Belgium and Germany, Rice believes England's serene progress is a sign they mean business.

    "I didn't see the France [loss to Tunisia] last night. I saw the result and there have been a lot of shocks in this tournament," he said at a press conference on Thursday. 

    "You can't take anything for granted. That's why we're doing so well and maybe why we are not getting the credit we deserve.

    "It could have been banana skins for us in any of the three games, but we've done well in all of them. 

    "We've seen big nations lose but we have not put ourselves in a position where we've felt under pressure. We've always felt in control of the group.

    "When you start to play better teams, your level goes up. These are the games you want to be involved in and get remembered forever. We'll be ready for those type of games.

    "Other nations will always look at us and the quality that we have in the squad. Why should we not be feared?

    "If you look at our attacking players, we have world-class, unbelievable talents across the board. Across the whole team, we have players who have won the biggest trophies."

    England have not lifted the World Cup since 1966 and Rice accepts that partly explains why his side are perhaps not as fancied as others to go all the way in Qatar.

    "We're one of the biggest teams here. It's down to us to prove it on the pitch," he said. "Teams like France have won World Cups and done it consistently. We want to change that.

    "All those big nations, we want to show that we're here. We are not here for the round of 16; we want to go all the way."

    The nine goals scored by England is the most they have ever managed in the group stage at a major tournament.

    Rice is one of seven players to have started each of England's matches in Qatar and he was also a regular in their run to the Euro 2020 final, which they lost to Italy on penalties.

    The West Ham midfielder is hoping to use that feel-good factor created last year to propel England to an even bigger achievement this time around. 

    "It was obviously COVID back then so we couldn't see anyone, friends or family," he said. "But we saw videos of the fans back home and it brought all the fans together.

    "We will try to keep going, try to lift everyone. It's obviously really close to Christmas now, so hopefully we'll give them the best Christmas present."

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.