Bruno Fernandes spoke like a true leader after inspiring Manchester United to a 3-1 victory over Everton and said he unselfishly passed up the chance to score a hat-trick in the dying moments as he wanted to boost the confidence of summer arrival Edinson Cavani.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was under serious pressure heading into the Premier League clash following back-to-back defeats to Arsenal and Istanbul Basaksehir and United’s afternoon got off to a nightmare start as Bernard opened the scoring for Everton in the 19th minute.
But Fernandes grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and scored a pair of quickfire goals to give United the lead at the halfway stage before putting the ball on a plate for Cavani, who made no mistake from close range to secure all three points for the visitors.
Fernandes has now netted ten times in his last ten away games in the Premier League but the midfielder could easily have made it 11 had he opted to take a shot rather than assist Cavani at the death.
Asked why he chose to pass to second-half substitute Cavani, Fernandes told BBC Sport: ‘I don’t need to think about a hat-trick.
‘For a striker it is important to score for his confidence.
‘He will be important for us and the first goal will give him confidence.’
There was some confusion about whether United’s opener belonged to Fernandes or Marcus Rashford, who stretched to get his head on the ball before it sailed past Jordan Pickord in the Everton goal.
But Fernandes insisted it mattered little to him who was credited with the goal as he spoke with BT Sport shortly after the final whistle.
‘I don’t care. If Marcus touched it a little bit, it can be his goal. It doesn’t matter,’ he said.
‘No problem for me. The most important thing for me as a No.10 is serving my team-mates as I did in the end.
‘For Edi (Cavani), I had a chance to shoot and maybe looking for the hat-trick but I saw Edi alone and he had the chance.
‘If Marcus takes the second goal, it’s not a problem for me.’
‘I think this goal was more about the fact there’s a team-mate who we need to get a goal, who we need to get on the scoresheet he needs to gain confidence because he’s going to be of huge importance.
‘That’s what that’s about it’s another sign of leadership, leading the team and leading from the front.
‘And this guy, 200 plus goals for PSG he’s going to get goals in a red shirt too.’