‘Great players do that’ – Van Persie makes Rooney comparison after Man Utd star impressed
Both Robin van Persie and Paul Scholes were impressed with the role that Bruno Fernandes played in Manchester United’s triumph over Barcelona.
Erik ten Hag’s side managed to progress in the Europa League after an impressive second leg showing against Barcelona to win 4-3 on aggregate.
The role of Fernandes had plenty of people talking as he lined up on the right-hand side in the first half with Jadon Sancho playing as the number 10.
Van Persie thinks that Fernandes played an important role against Barcelona and compared him to Wayne Rooney because of his versatility.
“It shows as well that Fernandes plays on the wing, and great players do that for the team,” the pundit told BT Sport.
“Rooney did it as well in his time, many times, on the wing. It’s like when you are a great player, you are a team player. When the team needs you on the wing, then he does that.
“He is showing he wants to win, for the team, for everyone. And even as a winger, he is still doing well, but I do agree with Owen (Hargreaves) that in the centre of the pitch, he is, by far, the best.”
Fernandes went close to opening the scoring in the early stages of the game, but he was well denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Scholes echoed the thoughts of Van Persie and was impressed with the role that Fernandes took up.
“I don’t think it was key in the first half because I don’t think it worked particularly well,” Scholes added.
“We know Bruno will sacrifice himself to play out there. (Jadon) Sancho was playing in a little bit of a different position – OK, he came on on Sunday and did ok there – but he’s not comfortable there, he wants to be out in the wider spaces.
“Sacrifice is what it is all about in these big games.
“You mention Wayne Rooney. He did it so many times to accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo and just bringing that anticipation and quality to the team that Bruno has, wherever he plays in the team, he is capable of creating a goal.”
Fernandes was guilty of giving away the penalty in the first half, although many fans have called into question the decision to give it.
Ten Hag was left impressed with his side’s performance as he described it as their biggest win of the season so far.
Man United will now be turning their attention to the Carabao Cup final on Sunday against Newcastle.
READ MORE: Ten Hag proves Man United’s greatest weapon as turnaround downs Barca
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