Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that match-winner Bruno Fernandes had been practicing extra free-kicks in training ahead of his side’s FA Cup victory over Liverpool on Sunday. The Portuguese midfielder, who has established himself as one of the Premier League‘s best players since joining the Red Devils, beat visiting goalkeeper Allison late on from a dead-ball situation to send his side into the fifth round of the competition.
United were pegged back inside the opening 20 minutes when Mo Salah chipped over Dean Henderson to open the scoring for Liverpool, before Mason Greenwood’s equaliser eight minutes later put Solskjaer’s side back on level terms.
Marcus Rashford, who starred throughout, scored United’s second moments after the interval but Salah fired home again shortly before the hour mark.
It was left down to Fernandes, who was introduced as a substitute midway through the second half, to rescue his side once again.
The 26-year-old duly obliged, finding the bottom corner with a sweetly-struck free-kick from the edge of the box with just 12 minutes remaining.
Speaking after the final whistle, Solskjaer explained that he was not surprised by the midfielder’s contribution as he had been working on set-pieces in training ahead of Sunday’s game.
“Great goal, a good free-kick,” the United boss told Sky Sports when asked to comment on the deciding moment of the match.
“When you leave him out, like I had to do today, he stayed about 45 minutes after training yesterday shooting free-kicks. So I was quite confident he’d hit the target today.
“He’s never happy with me when I tell him to go inside if he’s playing the day after, so he got some practice.”
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