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What Harry Maguire told Bruno Fernandes about playing in defence for Man United vs Liverpool



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Credit: MUTV

Bruno Fernandes has revealed what Harry Maguire told him as the Portuguese maestro slotted into defence to help Manchester United beat Liverpool 4-3 in the FA Cup.

Manchester United are through to the semifinals of the FA Cup following a dramatic and defiant victory against Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool, where after 120 minutes of non-stop action many had run themselves into the ground.

Bruno Fernandes, 29, was a prime example of this as United’s talisman found himself all over the pitch including being in a makeshift and slightly bizarre back four. Partnering Harry Maguire in the centre, with winger Antony playing at left-back, many eyebrows were raised as Erik ten Hag made these tactical changes but they ultimately led to the winning goal.

Read More: Man United player “very grateful” for Diogo Dalot following Liverpool FA Cup win

The 29-year-old is yet to miss a game due to injury since arriving at Old Trafford in the January transfer window in 2020 and that statistic is staggering considering the amount of minutes he’s played and the intensity and level he consistently plays at.

Fernandes regularly puts his body on the line for the club and his commitment is rarely, if ever, questioned by the fans and this was shown by the creative midfielder having no qualms about going into defence.

“It’s whatever I have to do to help the team win. This… there are no positions. At that moment we had to take risks, we had to play basically man-to-man, which was what the coach asked of us. And he didn’t want me to be so deep at certain moments,” United’s No.8 told TNT Sports’ Fred Caldeira and ESPN Brazil’s Renato Senise after the match.

Fernandes went on to say that his teammate Harry Maguire asked for his help at the back. “But I felt it and H [Harry], Maguire, often asked me to drop back to help because obviously there was [Cody] Gakpo and Darwin [Núñez] two very fast players, with a lot of speed.

“And at one point I had to jump into the middle, at others I had to drop a little deeper, because my legs were getting tired, I was cramping up everywhere, and I even took a knock to help out (laughs).

“But it’s whatever it takes to help the team. Because Antony ended up at left-back, Eriksen was also at 6, McTominay further forward. We were all giving everything we had to win the game.”

Although this seemed like a seemingly alien position for Bruno to adopt, it turns out he had had some prior experience, as he joked with other journalists.

“I don’t mind, [playing in defence], but when I’m far away from the goal, I can’t get my goals and assists! But they can’t score anyway because I was a centre-half in my early career, so I still got something from that.”

It is well-known that United are looking to sign a centre-back in the summer with the futures of Maguire, Raphaël Varane and Victor Lindelöf still uncertain, but perhaps the club should let Fernandes have a go at the back.