The Portuguese playmaker has been appointed as permanent captain at Old Trafford for the 2023-24 campaign, with added responsibility being taken on as he fills the most prestigious of armbands. He has made a slow start to his stint as full-time skipper, with a glorious opportunity squandered to open his goal account for the season when lining up against Spurs in north London.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
Fernandes was picked out by a pinpoint cross from Luke Shaw in the 35th minute against Spurs, with the offside trap beaten to find acres of space inside the penalty area. The enigmatic 28-year-old got his finish all wrong, despite being completely unmarked, as he skewed a header high and wide of the target in front of him.
WHAT THEY SAID
Attempting to explain why he fluffed his lines so badly, with the game locked at 0-0 when his big opportunity presented itself, Fernandes has told MUTV: “We had many chances to score [a] goal. Myself in [the] first half, I had a big chance that I have. I have to score in one [or] another way. I have to find a way to score that header. I looked too much at the goalkeeper instead of [focussing] on the ball and obviously, after the movement of the moment, I was too quick and I didn't get the ball the way I should get. But either way, I have to get that ball at least on the target.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
United have struggled to find a spark through their two Premier League games this term. They were able to edge past Wolves 1-0 in their opener at Old Trafford, but slipped to a demoralising defeat against Spurs as Fernandes and Co were made to pay for their failure to hit the back of the net. They will be back in action next weekend when playing host to Nottingham Forest.