Bruno Fernandes overtakes Man Utd cult heroes with milestone 60th goal
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes scored his 59th and 60th goals for the club during Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final win over Fulham at Old Trafford.
United had to come from behind in the second half of the game after Aleksandar Mitrovic gave the visiting Cottagers the lead shortly after the interval.
Fulham had threatened to scored more before and after they actually did break the deadlock – David de Gea earned the praise of Erik ten Hag for stopping them – before Fernandes equalised from the penalty spot after a Willian handball on the goal-line which saw the Brazilian sent off. Mitrovic and Marco Silva also saw red in the aftermath of the VAR decision.
Marcel Sabitzer put United ahead with just over 10 minutes to go with a slightly unorthodox near-post flick, while Fernandes fired in the third with a powerful effort across goal deep into stoppage time.
It is the fourth successive season in which the Portugal midfielder has reached double digits in goals from midfield since he arrived at United in January 2020 – scoring 12 in 2019/20, 28 in 2020/21, 10 in 2021/22 and 10 again so far in 2022/23.
Not only that, he is steadily climbing the club’s all-time list of goalscorers. His 10 goals this season have already seen the former Sporting CP star surpass Juan Mata, Roy Keane and Steve Bruce (all 51) in recent months. He also went past Dimitar Berbatov (56) in February.
Sunday’s brace moved Fernandes ahead of Robin van Persie (58), whose goals delivered United’s last Premier League title in 2012/13, and Javier Hernandez (59), a well-loved former fan favourite.
Fernandes’ next United goal will move him level with post-war hero Charlie Mitten, uncle of famed United writer and author Andy Mitten. Mitten was dubbed the ‘Bogota Bandit’ in 1950 when he quit the club after being offered a reputed £5,000 signing bonus by Independiente Santa Fe in Colombia and a £40-per-week, more than trebling his wage when footballer pay in England was still capped.
At that time, Colombia’s league was outside of FIFA control. But when the country joined up in 1951, Mitten was forced to return to England and was banned by the FA for six months. He was also ostracised by United, who still held his official registration, and was sold to Fulham.
Other notable names Fernandes will surpass sooner rather than later if he keeps scoring goals are Dwight Yorke (66), Norman Whiteside (67) and Brian Kidd (70).