LONDON • Bruno Fernandes has urged his Manchester United teammates to all become leaders, as the midfielder inspired a fightback at Everton yesterday with two goals and an assist for Edinson Cavani in a 3-1 win to ease the pressure on manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
United have failed to win in four games at home in the Premier League this season and there were questions over Solskjaer’s future after the midweek 2-1 defeat by Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.
Fernandes, though, believed the Red Devils would always have a chance to bounce back as long as they had faith in themselves.
“We know our quality. We worked hard for the game,” insisted the Portuguese on BT Sport.
“It was difficult to recover after the (Basaksehir) game. This was the moment to do something in this game and we did it.
“Everyone needs to be a leader. Some players need to be a mood leader – don’t need to talk too much but do the right things – and others need to speak more to feel more part of the game.
“But at the end of the game the three points is for everyone not just for one player.”
The loss was the third straight defeat for Carlo Ancelotti’s side while United have now won seven successive away league games. This equals the longest away winning run in the club’s history set by Alex Ferguson’s team between April-August 1993.
United started slowly though as Everton took the lead in the 19th minute with Brazilian winger Bernard’s low drive through Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s legs squeezing in the bottom corner.
But six minutes later, the visitors drew level when Fernandes met a Luke Shaw cross from the left with a perfectly angled header.
Everton left-back Lucas Digne then struck the post from a promising position but United were growing into the game and it was no surprise when they took the lead.
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Fernandes floated in a cross from the left which Marcus Rashford just missed by a whisker but the ball went in off the post.
Substitute Cavani added the third in stoppage time, finishing off a counter-attack led by Fernandes for his first goal since joining the club on deadline day last month.
Despite the three points, Solskjaer was unhappy with the league’s scheduling of this match.
The Norwegian told BT Sport: “We were set up to fail. The kick-off time set us up to fail.
“We have been to Turkey, played loads of games this season already, we got back Thursday morning and we are playing Saturday lunchtime, it’s an absolute shambles.
“The authorities set us up to fail. We’ve had enough of that. Players this season, in these times, a pandemic, mentally and physically, it’s draining.
“Let us play on a Sunday, there’s an international break after this, it’s a joke.”
Ancelotti, meanwhile, narrowed in on his side’s defensive mistakes.
“The problem was that after we scored we were not able to defend well, and they took advantage,” the Italian said.
“They were able to score easily. We said before the game we had to defend better and we did not defend good enough. We were slow at the back, we have to improve.”