Bruno Fernandes jokingly claimed that he did not think Alejandro Garnacho deserved his Man of the Match award in Man United’s 3-0 win at Everton, despite making a stunning overhead kick to open the scoring.
Marcus Rashford scored a second half penalty, while Anthony Martial made it three for Erik ten Hag’s side, but all the focus will be on Garnacho’s wonder strike, which has earned comparisons to Wayne Rooney’s goal in the Manchester derby in February 2011.
Gary Neville named Garnacho as the Man of the Match at the end of the game’s coverage on Sky Sports, although he even he admitted that Kobbie Mainoo was the ‘standout player’ for Man United on the 18-year-old’s first league start for the club.
The questions over who should have been given the bright yellow trophy will remain, although Garnacho was handed the trophy at the end of a post-match interview alongside Man United captain Fernandes.
When pressed to comment on Garnacho’s performance, Fernandes said: ‘So-so! I give him a good nod just for the goal, but that’s because he knows I have big expectations for him.’
Bruno Fernandes jokingly claimed that Alejandro Garnacho did not deserve Man of the Match
Garnacho’s wonderful overhead kick was Man United’s first goal in a 3-0 win away at Everton
The Man United captain said: ‘He’s a great player’, before quickly correcting himself. ‘He’s not a great player yet, but he has a great future ahead,’ Fernandes said.
‘We expect a lot from him, he knows that, I’ll always be behind him, asking for more. Honestly, amazing goal.’
He added: ‘A goal like this has to silence the crowd. Everton fans were not really happy about that, but I think they enjoy to see these kind of things.
‘It’s amazing for the football, players can do this, and we are all proud of him. Obviously, I’m very happy to have him on my side.’
Garnacho was awarded the Man of the Match prize at the conclusion of the interview, and while the Argentine player was thankful, Fernandes said: ‘I don’t think he deserves it, but take it. For the goal, so you can remember the goal.’
The fallout could be a result of Garnacho’s Argentina beating Fernandes’ Brazil in a World Cup qualifier in the week, or just an acceptance that several Man United players were possible recipients of the prize after their performance on Sunday.
Speaking on Sky Sports after the match, pundit Michael Dawson said: ‘Kobbie Mainoo, he was absolutely magnificent. He was calm and he was class, at the age of 18. I thought he started the game absolutely magnificent.
‘Man of the match, I thought it might go to him.’
Whilst internally, Man United may squabble about who should have deserved recognition for their role, the 3-0 win lifted them to sixth in the Premier League table, ahead of games against Galatasaray and Newcastle United in the coming week.
Kobbie Mainoo was another name suggested as a potential recipient of the Man of the Match
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