Can one man really make all the difference? | Bruno Fernandes

in Sports Talk Social7 months ago

Watching Manchester United since Project Restart began has been an incredible revelation. Indeed it was a revelation the moment he stepped onto the pitch for the first time in a United shirt against Wolves in January.

It was immediately obvious that Bruno had the makings of a top signing because of the way he carried himself on the pitch. A hard worker tracking back to recover possession, a midfield general instructing his new teammates where to be on the pitch, a dead-eye passer of the ball, and forward-thinking player.

At a time when Pogba was losing favor among a majority of Manchester United fans, it was a welcome relief seeing his quality unleashed on the pitch - so much so that more people were willing to let Pogba leave the club.

That is where we were as a club before the Coronavirus induced football break.

Fast forward to three months later, Pogba is fully fit and he comes in as a substitute against Tottenham to win a penalty which Bruno Fernandes dispatched with authority.

In that short cameo, the partnership between Bruno and Pogba was evident. They seemed to see passes and opportunities in the final third that other players around them did not.

Although the match ended in a draw, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had seen enough of the partnership and decided to start them together against Sheffield in one of the most dominant performances I had ever seen under Solskjaer.

Brighton vs Manchester United

Before the start of this game, I was anxious. Games away at Brighton have always been tough with United losing 3-2 and 1-0 in the away legs before this one.

Brighton set up in a low block looking to hold back the tide of Manchester United players attacking their goal.

In the past, United have had a hard time breaking down teams that sit back but since the arrival of Bruno Fernandes, that has changed entirely. The Pogba x Bruno partnership granted United creativity and threat from different parts of the pitch.

A deft finish from the young Mason Greenwood put United one goal up early on. Moments later, Pogba and Bruno found themselves on the edge of the box. Pogba quickly sets up Bruno who shoots first-time and thanks to a slight deflection the ball finds the back of the net past the frailing arms of Matt Ryan who had seen the ball too late.

In the second half, Brighton came out with guns blazing to the benefit of United. A swift counter-attack from a Maguire clearing header, a Matic deft touch and cross-field cross over to Mason Greenwood who ran into the attacking third and coolly flicked a delicious floating cross into the box to Bruno Fernandes who then took it on the volley, off the ground, and into the net for the third.

Game over.

Manchester United spent the rest of the game conserving energy, keeping possession, and making substitutions to their most valuable players so that they would be fresh for the rest of the season.

There is a lot to be excited about as a Manchester United fan.

Finally, we can be optimistic. All it will take is a proper transfer window for the heartbeat of the club to beat strongly as it did over 7 years ago under Ferguson...and how great would it be to see Alex Ferguson's protegee, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, lift a trophy - any trophy - with the club he gave so much to and won so much with.