Sports, Football

Fernandes’s volley returns Man United to winning ways

By Reuters
Published : 24 Sep 2023 07:00 PM | Updated : 24 Sep 2023 07:00 PM

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes struck a sublime volley to earn a 1-0 victory at Burnley in the Premier League on Saturday as Erik ten Hag's side ended a three-match losing streak in all competitions.

The Portuguese got on the end of a pinpoint Jonny Evans pass on the stroke of halftime to dispatch a first-time finish past Burnley goalkeeper James Trafford.

Evans had already had a goal disallowed for United although Burnley had plenty of chances of their own and were unfortunate to be behind at the interval. The visitors were more comfortable after the break with Burnley's patient football unable to create clear-cut chances.

United's third victory of the season lifted them into eighth place in the standings with nine points from six games.

Burnley have one point from five games and are bottom on goal difference. After consecutive league defeats by Arsenal and Brighton & Hove Albion and Wednesday's high-scoring reverse at Bayern Munich, the pressure has been mounting on Ten Hag.

But when he needed his skipper to lead by example, Fernandes provided the moment of quality to get United back on track.

Evans, whose earlier header was ruled out for offside after a VAR check, floated the perfect pass forward over Burnley's defence and as the ball dropped, Fernandes belted a right-foot volley that flashed into the net.

It was a superb moment for the 35-year-old Evans who returned to the club on a one-year deal in the close season and was making his first start for United since 2015.

"This club, if you're not winning games you're going to be under fire," Evans told TNT Sports. "Some of the young players haven't experienced that but I hope that I can come in and add some calmness. Hopefully this can kickstart something for us."

Manager Ten Hag said his side had shown great team spirit and United certainly needed to be resolute to weather some intense Burnley pressure early on.

"We know that we have been in a tough bit of momentum but we knew we could come back from it," Fernandes said. "Obviously today the performance was not the best but we got the three points which is the most important thing."