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Bruno Fernandes laments teammates’ decision-making as Manchester United survive FA Cup scare

Manchester United’s wasteful first-half display almost came back to haunt them against League Two Newport County

Ben Fleming
Sunday 28 January 2024 19:30 GMT
Bruno Fernandes scored United’s opener against Newport County
Bruno Fernandes scored United’s opener against Newport County (Getty Images)

Bruno Fernandes lamented his side’s decision-making in front of goal as Manchester United saw off a spirited Newport County to book their place in the FA Cup fifth round with a 4-2 away win.

United flew out of the traps at Rodney Parade, with goals from Fernandes and Kobbie Mainoo putting them 2-0 up inside the first 13 minutes.

Erik ten Hag’s side could well have put the game beyond doubt in the opening salvo but spurned a number of good chances through a combination of poor finishing and bad decision-making. Antony squandered several efforts, while Alejandro Garnacho hit the crossbar from a tight angle despite having both Fernandes and Rasmus Hojlund open for what would have been a simple tap-in.

And United’s profligate ways almost cost them when goals from Bryn Morris and Will Evans drew the League Two side level after the break. United eventually saw off the spirited hosts thanks to goals from Antony and Hojlund but the Portuguese captain said his team needed to develop a more ruthless streak in front of goal.

“Obviously it was not the result that we wanted, we got the win that we wanted but the result was not the perfect one for us,” he said talking to BBC One after the game.

“We didn’t want to concede goals, the first one was great from them, an unbelievable shot. We had chances to make the 3-0 but when you get 2-0 in these types of games everyone wants to score and get their goal and everything and sometimes we don’t get the best decision for the team.”

A disappointing start to the season has left the FA Cup as United’s only hope of silverware for the season. The Red Devils reached the final of last year’s competition and Fernandes hopes the team can go one step further this campaign to rectify their bad season to date.

Antony (right) celebrates scoring Manchester United’s third goal in their FA Cup win at Newport (PA Wire)

“We have to understand that the FA Cup is our chance to win a trophy and we have to give everything to get into the final step by step, game by game,” he added.

“We know that to make the season look not as bad as it has been, we have to try to win this trophy because it is important for us. We were in the final last year, but unfortunately, we did not get the trophy.

“We know how much the FA Cup means for our fans, our club, for the country so we know how important it is and it’s important for us too. We want to get into the final and win.”

United face a trip to the winner of Bristol City versus Nottingham Forest for a place in the quarter-finals.

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