Bruno Fernandes: Spaceship

three months ago, Manchester United Erik ten Hague was humiliated in his first Manchester derby. This time it was different.

A 6-3 loss in that one United’s half heart pressing made them easy to play And Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City Not the type of party that requires an invitation. Since then, United’s organization has been improving off the ball, from their defensive line to their pressing.

It appeared at Old Trafford when the teams met again. Co man marking Kevin De Bruyne and Bernardo Silva by Fred and Casemiro City’s play came to a halt as United’s narrow front line stifled City’s centre-backs Christian Erickson moving towards Rhodri.

That means it was the full back of the city, Joao Cancelo and Kyle WalkerJoe was free, but City were not quick enough to trouble United in the first half. That changed in the second half and City took the lead down the right when De Bruyne’s cross was met. Jack Grealishheader of

However, if there is one man who knows where United’s threat comes from, it is Guardiola.

“When you attack a little faster than you need to attack, they attack you a lot faster,” he said after his side’s impressive win at Old Trafford last season. “In transition, they are very good.”

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His words proved prophetic on Saturday, as two quick attacks ensured they would not relinquish the lead after United regained possession. The title race took another turn.

It was the focus of those goals Bruno Fernandeswho scored the equalizer (Not without controversy) before setting up the move that eventually brought the winner.

Along with the pacey United forward, Fernandes’ efforts in transition are often forgotten. For all his creativity in normal possession sequences, the Portuguese still provides a threat in transition. His awareness in these situations, along with his passing and directness in attacking space, make him invaluable at this stage of the game.

When United win the ball back, Fernandes knows where to attack. In victory against FulhamUnited’s first goal later came from an attacking transition Casemiro wins the ball in the middle of the pitch. As the force reaches Anthony MarshallFernandes makes a forward run to provide a passing option, with Marcus Rashford Moving into the pitch.

Pulling in as Rashford watched Issa Diop Along with him, Fernandes continues his race to invade space.

Then he was found by Marshall…

…and the Portuguese’s shot deflected off Diop, falling for Eriksen against an empty net. The Dane scores, but it’s important to note Fernandes’ decisions about where to attack in transition. Knowing that Diop will go inside with Rashford, Fernandes attacks the space outside the Fulham defender.

The same thing happened in the goal against him Tottenham. Again, this is an infection Antony The ball is on the right. However, Fernandes is not looking at the ball. He is looking ahead to where to attack. Rashford’s movement dragged on Eric Dear with him…

…and Fred’s movement raises a question Christian Romero Like Matt Doherty Still tracking Jadon Sancho Closer to the Spurs right wing-back. Fernandes sees a gap, and moves in this direction when called for a pass.

Antoni’s pass is a bit heavy, which allows Romero to stop. But United got the ball back and Fernandes put it into the back of the net.

Fernandez’s cleverness in terms of attacking space makes him a good option when breaking United into quick attacks, and this was needed against City. Although not in transition, United’s quick attack after regaining possession caught Guardiola’s side off guard and levelled.

In the build-up to that goal, Fernandes is in the center circle Aaron Wan-Bissaka Finds Casemiro’s run on the right.

Before Casemiro controls the ball, Fernandes looks in front of him to look for spaces.

He has seen Rashford’s run Manuel Akanji Out of position, and accordingly the city defender begins his run into the space …

…and while he’s doing that, he glances over his left shoulder to get an idea of ​​Walker’s position.

Casemiro’s pass here is for Rashford in an offside position, but Fernandes’ run provides a secondary option…

…and he scored to put United back in the game.

Another aspect of Fernandes’ profile that makes him effective in transition is his vision and passing. When United win the ball, he immediately tries to clear himself or call for the ball if he is in space.

In this instance vs Nottingham ForestFernandes (yellow) instructs Rashford (red) to attack the right back of Forest, Serge AurierUnited are starting the transition.

This frees up space for Fernandes to move in like this Tyrell Malaysia United plays a pass to the midfielder…

… and it also provides a direct outlet on Rashford. Fernandes then plays the ball into the One defense and into Rashford’s path. From this transition, United scored their second goal of the game as Rashford set up Martial for a shot from the edge of the box.

On another goal in transition, Fernandes’ scanning gives him the advantage as he’s on the fly. As is receiving a pass from Eriksen Diego DalotFernandes looks over his right shoulder and Rashford prepares to run forward.

So, when Eriksen plays a pass to Fernandes…

… He already knows where his next pass will be. Cut through the United midfielder Arsenal Defense through the ball that puts Rashford in one-on-one situations, and England Forward to make the score 2-1.

This can be clearly seen in Derby too. Fernandes’ pass in transition was vital to United’s attack, and eventually produced the winner.

In this instance in the first half, Fernandes is looking over his shoulder to get information about the position of Martial and Rashford as United return the ball inside their penalty box.

This prior knowledge of where his attackers were meant that once the ball reached Fernandes…

…It only takes two touches before he finds Martial running behind the City defence.

That attack didn’t lead to a dangerous chance, but a similar one later in the half could have put United ahead. Here, Casemiro starts a United transition by winning the ball back in midfield. As the Brazilian plays the ball into Fernandes, Rashford begins his run into space…

…and it only takes two touches for the Portuguese to find him.

Then Rashford scored EdersonOnly for Akanji to block his shot from going in.

In the end, it was Fernandes’ pass in transition that sealed the game for United.

After Ten Hague’s side won the ball, Alejandro Garnacho Fernandez moves quickly into space behind Walker as he scans the other side of the pitch. The Portuguese is already aware of Garnacho’s run as that was the direction of play when United won the ball back. Fred controls the loose ball…

…Garnacho continues his run down the left before playing into the path of Fernandes.

As Fernandes is aware of the position of Antony and Garnacho, he plays a one-touch pass to the Argentine who later assists Rashford’s winner.

Decisiveness in Fernandes’ transition is vital to United’s threat at this stage of the game, and it was essential in Derby Day’s victory. If he keeps up his good form, who knows where he could take United this season?

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