Manchester United’s over-reliance on Bruno Fernandes is “worrying”, and the team will struggle to get into the top four or five if they keep relying on him solely for goals. That’s the opinion of Liverpool icon Steve Nicol.
United were held to a draw by Everton on Sunday at Goodison Park.
The Toffees took the lead after three minutes through Dominic Calvert-Lewin, who pounced to take advantage of a rare David de Gea blunder.
The Red Devils were level soon enough, however, as Fernandes unleashed a first time shot into the bottom corner from 25 yards out.
He almost made it two later in the game, after he he was played through one-on-one by Juan Mata. However, his shot was saved by Jordan Pickford, and the England stopper got in front of Odion Ighalo’s close-range follow-up.
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Fernandes’ effort made it three goals in six games in all competitions for the club, as well as his two assists.
But despite his impressive start for the Red Devils, Liverpool icon Nicol raised question marks over United’s ability going forward without Fernandes.
The Red Devils are now fifth in the table, but are level on points with sixth-placed Wolves.
If Manchester City’s Champions League ban is upheld, United will qualify for the Champions League if things stay as they are.
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But Nicol believes United should be worried about their over-reliance on Fernandes.
He explained on ESPN FC: “I think it’s a little worrying that we’re saying this team is all about Bruno Fernandes.
“Even the goal he scored was horrendous goalkeeping from Jordan Pickford.
“You take him out of the equation as far as scoring goals is concerned, and there are they coming from in order to get into the top four or five?”
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Nicol’s co-pundit on ESPN FC, Chelsea hero Craig Burley, was full of praise for the way United lined up with the Portuguese ace in the team.
“They’ve found a shape and a way to get him in behind the front two which suits them, getting McTominay and Matic in behind him to get a solid base.
“In the first-half they played particularly well, it was a stupid error from De Gea for the goal.
“They passed it really quickly, got bodies forward, movement was quick, and they dominated.
“There is no doubt United are in a much better shape to get into that top four or five than they were a few months ago.”
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