Ten Hag backs Fernandes after Betis win

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Manchester United honcho Erik ten Hag heaped praise on captain Bruno Fernandes after a positive performance against Real Betis in their Thursday Europa League last 16 first leg match.

Fernandes was subject to criticism even more severely than his team-mates following United’s 7-0 thrashing at Liverpool on Sunday, with many raising questions over his suitability to wear the captain’s armband.

He had been defended by both Ten Hag and Marcus Rashford in the build-up to the game, and responded with getting a player-of-the-match performance at Old Trafford in which he scored one goal and made another.

“He was the best player on the pitch and it showed his personality. He played in a little bit of a deeper role tonight, he was brilliant,” said Ten Hag.

He added, ‘’Bruno was brilliant today, he led the team from the first minute by his game in possession, making the rhythm of the game and scored a goal so I am happy.”

“He was a leader in playmaking from deep and controlling the rhythm of the game. He had a lot of good passes in between the lines and from there-on we created a lot of chances.”

Manchester United played out an unchanged line-up from the Anfield defeat against Betis, and Ten Hag backed up his decision to stick with the same team saying he offered them a chance to redeem themselves.

“I thought it was the best line-up when I saw Betis. We have played 23 games in a row with one loss, and even though the 24th was a huge defeat you cannot ignore the 22 games before where this team has played very well.”

Manchester United bounced back from Sunday’s humiliation at Liverpool with a 4-1 win over Real Betis in their first-leg Europa League clash.

Marcus Rashford scored an early opener six minutes into the action but Former Leicester Man Ayoze Perez levelled for Betis before the break.

United however dominated the second half and turned things around with Anthony scoring a wonder strike, Bruno Fernandes getting a header in and Wout Weghorst scoring the fourth.

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