The newly appointed captain marked his first game as skipper with a classy performance against league rivals ArsenalWelcome, captain Bruno. You might just like this armband. The Manchester United captaincy is supposed to come with pressure and adversity. This is supposed to be a very difficult thing to do. But it hardly seemed to weigh down on the newly-minted Fernandes, who scored one and was instrumental in another as Man United comfortably put away Arsenal in a lively clash.
This was an unusually animated contest for a preseason fixture. Both sides had their chances in the early goings, with a Tom Heaton double save denying Gabriel Martinelli after 11 minutes. United made the breakthrough, Fernandes cutting onto his weaker left foot and curling a shot into the corner — an effort that Aaron Ramsdale will feel he should have denied.
The United second was equally avoidable. Gabriel misjudged a speculative pass, allowing Jadon Sancho to run in on goal and lash his effort through Ramsdale at the near post. United could’ve had more. Antony skewed one wide before narrowly missing the top corner. Numerous other attacks, started with Fernandes’ expansive distribution, should have yielded better results.And, in truth, this contest was done by the break. Both managers rotated in the second half, and the fluidity that had defined the first half was swiftly lost. Fernandes, by that time, was on the bench, sitting comfortably as his side, the one he now definitely leads, lock up a 2-0 win.