Bruno Fernandes’s last minute miracle hands Manchester United 1-0 win vs Fulham

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Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes scores their first goal past Fulham’s Bernd Leno. — Reuters

Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes delivered a crucial 90th-minute strike to secure a 1-0 victory for Manchester United against Fulham in the early Premier League match on Saturday, putting an end to their recent struggles.

The game was meandering towards a lacklustre draw when Fernandes seized an opportunity on the edge of the box, unleashing a low, skidding shot that found the back of the net.

Manchester United faced increasing pressure following two consecutive 3-0 home defeats, marking their worst start to a season since 1962. 

The win at Craven Cottage provided some relief for manager Erik ten Hag, but concerns persist about the team’s direction under the Dutchman, as they displayed a lack of shape once again.

With a third consecutive narrow away victory in the league, Manchester United climbed to sixth place with 18 points from 11 games, ahead of the rest of the weekend’s fixtures. 

Fulham, despite being twice denied by impressive saves from Andre Onana in the second half, finds themselves in 14th place with 12 points.

In recent weeks, Bruno Fernandes has faced criticism, with former Manchester United title winners Gary Neville and Roy Keane suggesting he should be relieved of the captaincy due to some petulant performances. 

However, Fernandes responded with a vital goal when his team needed it most, though the victory might only serve as a temporary solution to the team’s underlying issues.

The first half offered little excitement, with the only noteworthy incident being Scott McTominay’s disallowed goal for United after seven minutes. Christian Eriksen’s floated free-kick was directed into the box by Alejandro Garnacho, and McTominay finished with a high shot. 

However, the goal celebration was short-lived as VAR ruled it out after a prolonged check, concluding that Harry Maguire, who was initially offside, had interfered with the play.

United’s attacking threat was limited, with a tame effort from Fernandes easily handled by Bernd Leno. 

Fulham’s Willian showed promise with an early shot and dangerous deliveries into the box, while United’s keeper Onana made a save from Harry Wilson.

A stadium staff announcement that “Mr Bishop had left the stadium” was greeted with chuckles with the majority of the lunchtime crowd tempted to join him.

It was not a lot better in the early stages of the second half but things suddenly livened up with Onana forced into superb saves in the space of a frantic minute.

First, he palmed away a fierce swerving effort by Wilson and then reacted well to keep out Joao Palhinha’s effort. Rodrigo Muniz then headed a chance over as United’s defence creaked.

A 0-0 draw would have done little to lift the United gloom but Fernandes at least gave the visiting fans something to cheer with his well-timed intervention.

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