Paul Scholes has accused Bruno Fernandes of being “too soft” in the build-up to one of Leeds’ goals in Manchester United’s 4-2 win over their bitter rivals. The first Elland Road encounter between the two clubs in front of fans since 2003 was an absorbing match. United squandered a 2-0 lead as they conceded twice in just 24 seconds in the second half, but they recovered to claim victory.
Harry Maguire and Fernandes had put United 2-0 up at half-time, both with headers, but Leeds produced a spirited fightback after the break.
Rodrigo’s cross looped over David de Gea to get Leeds back into it and then less than a minute later, Raphinha slid in from former United winger Dan James’ cross to make it 2-2.
Despite a raucous atmosphere, United rallied in West Yorkshire after Ralf Rangnick made some changes and one of them, Fred, made it 3-2 before the other, Anthony Elanga, scored a fourth late on.
But Red Devils legend Scholes thinks playmaker Fernandes was too weak in the lead-up to Raphinha’s equaliser.
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The Portuguese went down looking for a foul after a strong tackle from Adam Forshaw but VAR sided with Leeds and the goal stood, much to Fernandes’ frustration.
Yet Scholes told Premier League Productions: “I think Fernandes has to be stronger. He’s almost looking for the foul before anything actually happens and I don’t think it is a foul.
“Fernandes has got to be stronger there, that’s a little bit too soft. His head is up in the air looking for a foul before it comes in.
“Forshaw gets the ball and a nice bit of play James with Luke Shaw sleeping at the back post and Raphinha comes in and puts it away.”
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Scholes’ former team-mate Gary Neville similarly said on Sky Sports’ commentary of the match: “I’m not sure that’s a foul. There isn’t too much in it.”
However, Fernandes disagreed with the two club legends and told MUTV: “I think it was a foul because when I passed the ball with my right foot he stamped on my left.
“It’s about time that they stuck four or five away. Today was the day. Leeds seemed the perfect team for that. They’re the second-worst in the league for conceding goals and United took full advantage.
“You’ve got to give the manager real credit to make them subs. I think [Paul] Pogba especially was playing well, doing well, he’s a big player we know that.
“To take them off and bring on Fred who has struggled of late, was really poor against Brighton, and a young player in Elanga…
“Your substitutes have to come on and make an impact and them two certainly did that.”
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