Bruno Fernandes has admitted that Manchester United are destined to lose the derby from the start because they didn’t trust themselves.
The midfielder was part of a side that was beaten by a spirited Manchester City who won 6-3 thanks to hat-tricks from Erling Haaland and Phil Foden.
City led 4-0 at half-time and later held a 6-1 reserve before United got a couple of late calls from substitute Anthony Martial.
It was horrendous to watch someone on the red side of Manchester, especially as United had four Premier League victories ahead of the game.
“Faith wasn’t the best from the start and I think that gave us a lot of problems and made us concede goals early on,” said Fernandes.
Fernandes captained United in the absence of the injured Harry Maguire, but he failed to give the team the confidence to get off a rough start.
“I think the second half was much better,” said Fernandes. “We kept more control, we controlled the game every time we had the ball. We didn’t have enough results, so we had to take some risks.
“And obviously when we took that risk, we scored straight away. We tried [go forward] a little more, but we conceded more goals. You can’t give City that much space.
United “won” the second half 3-2, but it was definitely City’s day.
Fernandes has just one goal and one assist in seven Premier League games this season, after 10 goals and six assists last season.
In the previous campaign, he managed 18 goals and 12 assists, so new manager Erik ten Hag will be looking to get the same level of change from the Portuguese playmaker, rather than the diluted version that has been served up lately.
“Of course we are very disappointed,” Fernandes said in an interview with MUTV. “But now it’s time to focus on the next game and understand that we have to return the previous results. [the international break], and faith, and unity, and the understanding that this cannot break us. This should make us improve in the future.”
United’s next game is a Europa League clash with Omonia in Cyprus on Thursday, and they will return to their Premier League duties at Everton on Sunday.
Haaland used his social media accounts to gloat after his and City’s superb performance, stating “Manchester is blue!”
Manchester blue! pic.twitter.com/WyiUf2wX4S
— Erling Haaland (@ErlingHaaland) October 2, 2022
Fernandes and United are currently in no position to question City’s superiority and it is once again a job of rebuilding, as was the case with earlier season defeats at Brighton & Hove Albion and Brentford.
After these setbacks, United beat Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester City and Arsenal.
Everton, Newcastle United, Tottenham and Chelsea present their opposition in the next four games, with Fernandes aiming to banish the derby blues.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game, but we’ve had tough games before and we’ve won them,” he said, “so I think it’s all about mentality, attitude, cohesion and faith in the process.”