Manchester United

Bruno Fernandes offers up same excuses after Man Utd derby loss

Bruno Fernandes says Man Utd's players must look at themselves in the mirror
Bruno Fernandes says Man Utd's players must look at themselves in the mirror / Clive Brunskill/GettyImages
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Bruno Fernandes said Manchester United's players "have to look at the mirror" after the derby loss to Manchester City, and also admitted that is not the first time those words have been uttered in post-match interviews.

United were outclassed by rivals City and in truth the 2-0 defeat at Old Trafford did not accurately reflect the gulf in class between the two sides.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side mustered just one shot on target all game and had just four touches of the ball in City's penalty area. Tactically, United set up to contain their rivals, effectively acknowledging that they did not have the quality - or confidence - to take the game to City despite being backed by a crowd of over 73,000.

It's inevitably led to further questions about the future of Solskjaer as United's manager, and Fernandes admitted the result and overall performance was - again - not good enough.

"Obviously everyone is frustrated about the result, about the performance too," Fernandes told Sky Sports after the game. "We know we can do much better and we know this is not enough for a player who is representing this big club. We have to look at the mirror.

"I'm saying again the same things probably from the last interview, but that's it."

Fernandes' comments are nigh on identical to those of Harry Maguire in the aftermath of United's humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool in October. The Red Devils' performance was even worse on that occasion, with Maguire apologising after the game for the embarrassing nature of the defeat. He subsequently claimed United's players had learned their lessons.

But if this display was anything to go by, Solskjaer's United have an awful lot of work to do to turn things around - if the Norwegian remains in his job. One thing that Fernandes alluded to specifically was the need to protect David de Gea in goal, admitting the Spaniard had again kept the score respectable despite making a mistake for City's second goal.

"It's always a bad time to concede a goal," Fernandes said of Bernardo Silva's strike on the stroke of half time. "The problem is the way we concede goals. It's too easy.

"As I said many, many times, if it was not David again, the result could be much more higher and worse for us. We have to protect better, David, because he is protecting us a lot and we have to help him because he cannot make every game eight, nine saves and then still concede goals."

Solskjaer, meanwhile, claimed his players must respond to this latest setback like 'hurt animals' - whether or not he's there to tend their wounds after the international break remains to be seen.

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