Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag hailed goalscoring skipper Bruno Fernandes as the star man in his side’s Europa League last-16 first-leg victory against Real Betis.
Fernandes had taken the brunt of huge criticism heaped on United following Sunday’s record 7-0 Premier League humiliation at Liverpool.
But Ten Hag confirmed in the build-up the Portuguese would remain captain if Harry Maguire was not on the field – and Fernandes repaid that faith with an outstanding contribution to a much-needed win.
It included his eighth goal of the season as he headed home Luke Shaw’s 58th-minute corner.
“He was the best player on the pitch,” said Ten Hag. “He played a little deeper role and he was brilliant, making the game from the back position, with a lot of good passes in between the lines. From there we created a lot of chances.”