Erik Ten Hag says Bruno Fernandes showed his ability to lead as Man Utd thumped Real Betis 4-1 in the Europa League.
Fernandes came under fire for his performance in the 7-0 thrashing by Liverpool on Sunday, with former Manchester United captain Gary Neville labelling him as an “embarrassment”.
The Portugal international scored and assisted in United’s 4-1 win, and Teg Hag heaped praise on his midfielder after the game.
“I think he was the best player on the pitch,” Ten Hag said.
“That shows his personality. He played a little bit of a deeper role tonight, which I asked him to do, and I think he did it brilliantly.
“He was the leader in making the game from the back in possession, making the rhythm of the game.
“He had a lot of good passes in between the lines and from there on we created a lot of chances.”
United’s heavy defeat at Anfield came as a huge shock, given Ten Hag’s side went into the game unbeaten in the last 11 outings.
Ten Hag opted not to make any changes against Betis, and the United boss says he was keen for the players to redeem themselves.
“We had to reset and we had to bounce back,” he said.
“I thought it was the best line-up if you saw Betis. But also, we played 23 games in a row with one loss and in the 24th we had a huge defeat.
“But you can’t ignore all the 22 games before when this team played massively good.”