How a Man United midfielder proved his importance with visionary Brighton display

Alex Turk

Bruno Fernandes had to lift Manchester United with a creative masterclass in Saturday's 3-2 win at Brighton & Hove Albion, and not for the first time since his arrival.

United, as a whole, struggled to create chances against the Seagulls while looking defensively vulnerable, but Fernandes was a level above his midfield counterparts.

Following up on his first assist of the season against Luton Town in midweek, the 26-year-old provided Marcus Rashford with a luscious through ball for United's second.

Rashford, admittedly, took it upon himself to do the hard part, but Fernandes' composed 100th-minute penalty to win all three points was a deserved award.

Amongst his United team-mates, the Portugal international's statistical ranks tell you everything you need to know about just how influential he was at the Amex Stadium.

Throughout the match, Fernandes attempted 50 passes (2nd), with 42 of such passes proving to be accurate (2nd).

On top of that, the No. 18 completed 22 final third passes (1st), as well as supplying two key passes (1st).

Fernandes played his part defensively too by making four tackles, the joint-most amongst those in red on the south coast.

His form is going to be crucial this season, especially in a period like this where United simply look like they need something to lift their performance levels.

There's no doubting Fernandes is the closest thing the Reds have to world-class in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad, and long may his goal contributions continue.

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