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Man United star reveals confrontation with match official about Villa making controversial 4th sub

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes closing in on a new five year deal at the club..
Bruno Fernandes scored both Manchester United goals in the 2-2 draw against Aston Villa. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes reveals he confronted the referees about Aston Villa making a fourth substitution in the 2-2 draw

Speaking after the game, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News, Manchester United ace Bruno Fernandes revealed that he confronted the match officials about Aston Villa trying to make a fourth substitution in the 2-2 draw on the night. 

The Red Devils had to accept a stalemate on Saturday night at Villa Park. The 13-time Premier League champions took the lead in the opening five minutes, thanks to a Bruno Fernandes cross, coupled with an Emiliano Martinez error. The home side took charge of the game in the second half, but our side remained a threat on the counter-attack.

Fernandes found a second with a scorching finish before Villa scored twice to end the game at par. However, there was a moment when the Portuguese playmaker felt the substation rules were being bent. Emiliano Buendia went down with a shoulder injury in the final 10 minutes of the game and the doctors were suggesting a fourth substitution due to a knock in the head, which is allowed under the new Premier League concussion rule.

Bruno Fernandes revealed that he confronted the match officials about Aston Villa trying to make a fourth substitution in the dying embers of the game.
Bruno Fernandes revealed that he confronted the match officials about Aston Villa trying to make a fourth substitution in the dying embers of the game. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

The 27-year-old Man United ace confronted the match officials about the rule, especially since he did not feel that the opponent had a head injury. Fernandes, who was the captain on the day, revealed the issue in detail after the game.

“I was asking the referee why they were making a fourth sub when Buendia was injured with his shoulder? I think the doctor said that he had hurt his head, and if there is a head injury, there needs to be a change. But come on, he hurt his shoulder, and they cannot get another sub. 

“Come on, I get that the referee has to follow the rules, but I was just asking why and that was it…But the game is about deserving it is about points. Unlucky for us. But, still, a lot to improve on even if the performance was good. I am not happy at all.”

Taking the rule for granted?

Although Buendia went on to play the entire 90 minutes, the substitution could have been argued to be unfair. The Argentinian clearly injured his shoulder, and any issues with the head seemed to be minor in the replays. If a substitution was made due to this, it would have looked like Steven Gerrard and co were taking the rule for granted.

But irrespective of how the dying embers panned out, the result was a huge negative for us. A victory would have seen us get to within a point of 5th placed Arsenal. We would have surpassed 6th placed Tottenham Hotspur too, albeit they have a couple of games in hand. 

Bruno Fernandes revealed after the game that he was not happy with the result.
Bruno Fernandes revealed after the game that he was not happy with the result. (Photo by LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP via Getty Images)

After having a lead of two goals with only 20 minutes on the clock, we should have held on and killed the game. Mason Greenwood, too, had great chances on a counter-attack but was very wasteful. 

It is this lack of clinical nature in front of goal and errors at the back costing us dearly in recent weeks. We held on in the FA Cup tie on Monday night, but Villa took a point away on the weekend, which they completely deserved. Ralf Rangnick and co only have themselves to blame, and the focus shall now be on the Wednesday night tie against Brentford. 

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As for Bruno, that’s his nature. He is one of the fiercest competitors on the pitch and it was good to see him fired up for this game. He had a good personal outing as well and it was evident that he was even more frustrated because of it- that those around him did not help the team come away with the win.

Written by Varun Pai

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