‘Top players turn up on big occasions’ –
Bruno Fernandes slammed by Keane after Man City defeat
The Portugal midfielder failed to inspire his team-mates as goals from Stones and Fernandinho consigned the hosts to defeat
Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes found himself in Roy Keane’s firing line after going down to a 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on Wednesday.
The Reds’ Carabao Cup hopes were extinguished at the semi-final stage as the holders proved too strong at Old Trafford.
John Stones gave the visitors the lead five minutes after the half-time restart, before Fernandinho put the result beyond doubt in the final stages to keep Pep Guardiola’s men on track for a fourth straight success in the competition.
Former United captain Keane was not happy with what he saw from the club, and singled Fernandes out for harsh criticism as United missed the chance to pursue their first silverware under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“It’s not easy, it’s not easy winning football trophies,” Keane stated on Sky Sports, while going on to compare the Portuguese midfielder unfavourably with a past Reds idol.
“Fernandes has had great praise and over the past month people have been comparing him to people like Eric Cantona etcetera. But Cantona [won trophies].
“Fernandes didn’t really do much tonight. The top players turn up on the big occasions, and that’s what the Cantona’s used to do to get their hands on trophies. And that’s where this team is a little bit short.
“They’ll probably need one or two more players to come into the squad, no doubt, and the mentality they need – maybe the confidence of winning this semi-final to get them over the line and then you get momentum. And they just didn’t quite have it tonight.
“But credit to City. United were up against an outstanding Manchester City team tonight who turned up and put on a good show.”
Despite Wednesday’s setback Keane still sees plenty of positives around Old Trafford, with Solskjaer’s charges tied at the top of the Premier League alongside Liverpool having played a game fewer than their great rivals.
“The next game is always your most important game. Against Watford [in the FA Cup], Championship team, no doubt United will rotate and rest some players,” he added.
“And then Burnley certainly won’t be an easy game for them but you can’t take your eyes off the Liverpool game. If United go and win at Burnley and then win at Liverpool, they could be six points clear of Liverpool.
“Bizarre when you think of the start to the season that United had, so United, Ole and the players have to stay positive and look forward to the upcoming games.”