Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Bruno Fernandes plays down Lindelof row as Man Utd exit Europa League

SoccerNews in UEFA Europa League 17 Aug 2020

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Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes played down his row with team-mate Victor Lindelof after the Red Devils crashed out of the Europa League.

United became the first English top-flight team to fall at the semi-final stage of three different competitions within the same season following Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Sevilla.

Fernandes had given United – 2019-20 FA Cup and EFL Cup semi-finalists – a ninth-minute lead from the penalty spot before Suso restored parity 17 minutes later in Cologne.

United were exposed defensively, Lindelof and Aaron Wan-Bissaka especially, when Sevilla substitute Luuk De Jong got in between the pair to score the winning goal with 12 minutes remaining.

It prompted a heated discussion as Fernandes vented his frustration with Lindelof and United’s defending, but the midfielder insisted the entire squad must take responsibility.

“I think when we take a goal it is the fault from everyone, starting in the front,” said Fernandes post-match.

“We can’t take a goal from a throw-in in the first half, we need to be better in pressing, they can’t come up so easily. After comes mistake after mistake. We are mad when we take a goal, but the fault is from everyone, not from one player to take the fall, but all the team.

“It’s not about me or Victor, it’s about everything. What happened between us is nothing. It’s normal. It’s football. It happens. It’s looking out for each other.

“This thing will happen many more times in other teams. The most important thing now is seeing the mistakes we made and look forward to improving in the next games.”

United had chances to restore their lead and put the game beyond doubt early in the second half, but Anthony Martial and his team-mates proved wasteful.

Sevilla, meanwhile, were clinical against United – who managed 46 shots, 21 on target, against Copenhagen and the LaLiga outfit, but only scored two goals from the penalty spot across the quarter-finals and semis.

Former Sporting CP captain Fernandes added: “I think we played well. We created a lot of chances, we need to score. We need to score more goals.

“We create a lot but if you create and you don’t score it is not enough. Everyone is sad obviously, we come to win all the games, to be in the final but it was not possible.

“It is not enough because we are playing for Manchester United to win some trophies and this season I win nothing. For me it is not enough, I need to do much more.”

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