Sun. Mar 7th, 2021

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Bruno Fernandes says Man United must get better at defending set-pieces

3 min read

Frustrated Bruno Fernandes says Manchester United have to learn from blowing victory against Everton.

Having thrashed nine-man Southampton by a Premier League record-equalling 9-0 scoreline on Tuesday, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men left Old Trafford on Saturday evening reeling from a late gut punch.

After Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez cancelled out Edinson Cavani’s header and Fernandes’ exquisite effort, Scott McTominay looked to have steered United to victory.

Bruno Fernandes cuts a dejected figure after Man United let two points slip against Everton

Bruno Fernandes cuts a dejected figure after Man United let two points slip against Everton

Dominic Calvert-Lewin slides in to equalise in the 95th-minute as United and Everton drew 3-3

Dominic Calvert-Lewin slides in to equalise in the 95th-minute as United and Everton drew 3-3

But Lucas Digne’s free-kick deep in stoppage time was flicked on and Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored with the last kick of the game to secure Everton a 3-3 draw at the death.

‘There are a lot of things to be disappointed with,’ United playmaker Fernandes said.

‘We were making so many mistakes in the last few games and we can’t keep conceding goals like that. We have to be more focused, we have to have the same desire to score and to defend our goal.

‘Every time we have to make goals and score goals it has to be the same to not concede and I think we have to learn from this.

‘It has already happened a lot of times so it is more than a bit disappointing.

‘You talk about everything that is going on but it is about learning and make it better.’

Fernandes celebrates with Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay after scoring United's second

Fernandes celebrates with Edinson Cavani and Scott McTominay after scoring United’s second

Harry Maguire appeals in vain for a handball after Everton scored their late equaliser

Harry Maguire appeals in vain for a handball after Everton scored their late equaliser

United’s soft underbelly from set pieces was again exposed as Calvert-Lewin netted, leaving Fernandes frustrated once again.

‘It is really bad and you can’t concede goals like that because from a full 50 yards they are a long way from our goal,’ he said.

‘You can’t concede this kind of goals from that. We have to be more focused and we have to be ready and we have to be more stronger.

‘We have to defend our goal with everything.’

There is little time for United to wallow in self-pity as another big Old Trafford match looms large, with West Ham visiting in the FA Cup fifth round on Tuesday.

‘We have time,’ Fernandes told MUTV. ‘We have time to think again.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left cursing a lapse in concentration as United's Premier League title chances took a serious dent

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was left cursing a lapse in concentration as United’s Premier League title chances took a serious dent

Fernandes walks off with Axel Tuanzebe following Saturday night's draw at Old Trafford

Fernandes walks off with Axel Tuanzebe following Saturday night’s draw at Old Trafford

‘Everyone knows the past is the past and you can do nothing, but the future you can do something about.

‘So everybody has to be ready and learn from this game. Everything we learn from this game we have to put in the next one and try to win. We have to win.’

Everton are also hosting a team from the capital as Tottenham arrive in the FA Cup on Wednesday – a match in which Calvert-Lewin hopes they will not need to show character to come from behind again.

‘It was frustrating after we got back level at 2-2 to let them get the lead again from a set piece but we just hung in there,’ the England frontman said.

‘We had to stay disciplined when they had the ball for large parts and then try to get the goal at the end.

‘I was just waiting for a little nick (from the free-kick). I knew I wasn’t going to get the first contact so it was just about being ready for the second one.

‘Once it hit me in the stomach I knew I could get there before the keeper.’

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