Bruno Fernandes has insisted he “can do much better” for Manchester United despite scoring his third goal for the club during a 1-1 draw at Everton on Sunday.
The Red Devils missed a golden opportunity to move to within a single point of fourth-placed Chelsea in the Premier League standings, and were fortunate to escape with a draw after late drama at Goodison Park.
David de Gea’s inexplicable error gifted Everton the lead in the third minute of the game, as the Spanish goalkeeper saw a clearance deflect off of Dominic Calvert-Lewin and into the back of this net.
United responded well and forced the home side onto the back foot, with the pressure eventually telling on the half-hour mark when Fernandes fired in a long-range shot past England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Everton produced a much-improved performance in the second period, and thought they’d snatched all three points right at the death when Calvert-Lewin struck again, only for his deflected effort to be ruled out following a lengthy VAR review.
All of United’s best moments went through Fernandes, who continues to justify his €55 million (£48m/$61m) January fee with his composure on the ball and creativity in the final third of the pitch.
He was not completely satisfied with his latest performance, however, and is already eager to banish the memory of a disappointing result when United take on Derby in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Thursday.
“In the second half, we created a lot of chances and the last minutes we had some chances to score and the last one with Ighalo if he scores there now we are talking about a different situation,” Fernandes told reporters post-match.
“Also I had some shots outside of the box and I can do much better, but obviously the game goes like this, and we need to focus on the game against Derby.”
Fernandes added on Pickford’s failure to get a strong hand to his first-half strike: “It was a shot. I am happy the ball goes in, it doesn’t matter how it goes in, the important thing is the goal.
“You are never happy when you don’t win a game but obviously the game was really difficult and I think one point can be good, but three points would be much better.”
After their latest FA Cup outing, United will start preparing for a crucial derby meeting with Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday.
The Red Devils got the better of their neighbours at the Etihad Stadium back in December, but were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Pep Guardiola’s men in January.