The international break always throws up plenty of juicy talking points and the latest edition has been no different. A whole host of Manchester United players have been away on international duty over the past few weeks, though Portuguese duo Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes have obviously stolen the headlines.
Both starred as Fernando Santos’ team battered Luxembourg 5-0 in their World Cup qualifier on Tuesday night, with 36-year-old Ronaldo bagging a hat-trick as Fernandes grabbed himself a goal and an assist. Two of Ronaldo’s strikes came from the penalty spot before he completed the scoring with a close-range header. The five-time Ballon d’Or winner played superbly on the night, racking up five shots on target, an impressive 96% pass accuracy and two key passes in the 90 minutes.
Fernandes was also at his brilliant best, completing two successful tackles, putting in an unbelievable shift for the good of the team and achieving the fourth-best player rating of anyone on the pitch ust like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester United! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive United coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to United fans – United On My Mind. Writers and presenters who share your passion for the red side of Manchester will be producing written, visual and audio content to reflect the mood in the stands as well as the press box.
Follow our team on Twitter (@MikeParrott_, @GarrickOmar, @Casey_Evans_ and @AnilKandola)! When the former re-signed for United, debate raged over how Solskjaer could get the best out of the former Real Madrid man without nullifying the brilliance of Fernandes. The United boss tends to favour a 4-2-3-1 formation because it offers defensive support and thus United are less susceptible to the counterattack.
However, it hasn’t really worked this season because United’s summer additions have struggled to fit into the system. Ronaldo has sometimes looked isolated and there’s been a disjoint between defence and attack, so what’s the problem? Well, Fernandes’ heat map from this season tells us a lot.