Tottenham Hotspurs coach, Jose Mourinho has aimed a light-hearted swipe Manchester United midfield, Bruno Fernandes for his penalty record.
He joked that the midfielder “had about 20 to score” in the second half of the Premier League season.
United is now the new Premier League club with the most penalties won in a single campaign. The Red Devils got their 14th of the 2019-20 season after Johny Evans brought down Anthony Martial in the box during a crunch clash with Leicester on Sunday.
Fernandes, who joined the Olt Trafford outfit in a €55 million (£50m/$65m) deal in January, converted the Red Devils’ 14th spot-kick of 2019-20, which set them on their way to a 2-0 victory at the King Power Stadium. The victory secured the third spot for them on the log and eventually Champions League qualification as they extended their unbeaten run in the top flight to 14 matches.
What has Bruno Fernandes added to United since his move to Old Trafford?
Since Fernades arrival from Sporting Lisbon in winter, United have picked up more points than any other Premier League. The Portuguese scored 10 goals and eight assists in his first 20 appearances for the club in all competitions, with six of those efforts coming from the penalty spot.
The Red Devils are the highest beneficiary of VAR decisions since returning from lockdown in June, with 7 key decisions going in their favour.
Fernandes had scored a spot-kick against Mourinho’s team in a 1-1 draw away at Tottenham Stadium last month, to cancel out Steven Bergwijn’s opener.
Mourinho, who was in charge of United between 2016 and 2018, made it clear post-match that he did not believe that Eric Dier’s challenge on Paul Pogba warranted a penalty, and also criticized Fernandes for trying to win another spot-kick late in the game.
Speaking on the impact of the 25-year-old playmaker on the club, Mourinho told Portuguese publication Record that he improved the team.
“Bruno came in, was fit, played very well, improved the United team and also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score.”
What’s next for Fernandes?
With the Premier League action over and Champions League spot secured for Man United, Fernandes will now focus on the Europa League which resumes next month.
United currently lead LASK 5-0 in the first leg of their round of 16 tie back in March. A last-eight showdown against either İstanbul Basaksehir or Copenhagen awaits them if they finish the job at Old Trafford on August 5.