“I didn’t see it because someone almost broke my ankle!”
Manchester United were forced to do it the hard way on Sunday as they battled back after going a goal behind to beat Brighton 2-1 and move four points clear of third-placed Leicester City in the Premier League.
Not for the first time this season, United were sluggish during the first half and fell behind when their former striker Danny Welbeck headed Brighton into a 13th-minute lead.
Choice words were exchanged in the United dressing room at half-time and it seemingly had the desired effect as the Red Devils turned the game on its head during an improved second-half display.
Mason Greenwood’s 83rd-minute header sealed all three points for United after Marcus Rashford had levelled matters on 62 with his first goal in seven games.
Rashford was sent through on goal by Bruno Fernandes, who slid a measured pass into the England striker’s feet.
However, as Fernandes explained during his post-match interview, he was not able to see Rashford guide the ball into the far corner after being upended by Brighton defender Joel Veltman, who escaped punishment for his mistimed tackle.
Bruno Fernandes has been directly involved in 27 Premier League goals this season — 16 goals & 11 assists.
That’s more than any other midfielder across Europe’s top five leagues. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/fNf63LeeUe
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) April 4, 2021
‘Someone almost broke my ankle’ – Fernandes on Veltman
“I didn’t see it because someone almost broke my ankle!” a smiling Fernandes told MUTV.
“But I’m happy for the team, I am happy for Marcus. It was a good effort because as everyone knows he has come back from injury and he’s helped us.
“This effort comes from everyone. The press for the first goal was good it made them do the wrong ball and I recovered the ball and passed to Marcus and he scores. Everyone is happy when we win and it doesn’t matter who scores.”
Rashford and Greenwood’s goal against Brighton from the stands 🤩🔴 pic.twitter.com/RjE8j20XWl
— United Zone (@ManUnitedZone_) April 5, 2021
Fernandes also spoke about matchwinner Greenwood as the Portuguese player called for patience over the 19-year-old’s development.
Greenwood has scored six times in 40 games this season after managing 17 in 49 last year.
“Everyone has to know that Mason is a young player and now everyone is starting to know how Mason is, it will become more and more difficult for him,” added Fernandes.
“It is normal. It is part of the development for him and he will learn from here so it doesn’t matter how many goals he scores; the most important thing for us is that he still helps the team and he is doing his best.
“It is important for us as a team, it doesn’t matter who scores. If Mason scores for us or not, it is important if he can do other jobs, recover balls, pressing, defend when we need it, make assists, create danger.
“So it is not important for him to score. He has to understand, he is such a young lad. Of course, every striker wants to score but, anyway, he will score more and more goals as the seasons pass.”