Manchester United recovered from back-to-back 3-0 defeats with a 1-0 win over Fulham at Craven Cottage on Saturday. It was an awful game of football for about 90 minutes before Bruno Fernandes saved the day at the very end.
Manchester United typically started out alright in the match, for about the first 25 minutes or so, and even opened the scoring thanks to Scott McTominay finishing off a free kick routine. Unfortunately, the goal was disallowed after a 12-hour VAR check on Harry Maguire, who didn’t play the ball, but was deemed to have committed a “subjective offside” offense.
Maguire, who was almost certainly concussed after an opening minute collision, played on worryingly for the rest of the match. The fact that he was still probably the best player on the pitch is worrying for other reasons, but he was probably robbed late of a Man of the Match award by Bruno Fernandes.
We’ll get to why a bit later.
Fortunately, however, United didn’t capitulate to the opposition after the first half-hour as they usually have done this season. Instead, they settled in for a dreadful match, playing down to a really poor opponent on the day.
Andre Onana did continue his upturn in form however, producing two great saves around the hour mark to deny both Harry Wilson and Joao Palhinha. He was one of the few positive performances all around on the day for either team, and a deserved clean sheet is a silver lining from the match for sure.
As the clock ticked away mercifully for all viewing in person or on television, United actually started producing chances again. Bruno Fernandes and Anthony Martial each had decent looks at goal, with the former having a nice free kick hit saved by Bernd Leno. The desperation in the late attack was evident, and the effort certainly shouldn’t be questioned even though the quality should.
And thankfully for the Red Army, that effort was rewarded.
Bruno failed to really orchestrate anything going forward for most of the match, but his involvement late was crucial. He continually pushed the ball into the box, and in the 90th minute he saw an opening after McTominay failed to find space. The ball was played back to Bruno, who shook a defender before placing a shot into the bottom right corner of Leno’s goal.
The keeper did get a touch to it, but it wasn’t enough as relief took over the United faithful.
Again United had to be saved by a moment of individual brilliance, but it’s why they keep individuals like Bruno Fernandes around.
Shit match, a shit performance, and a really good goal to steal three points at the end.