During Manchester United’s 3-1 defeat to Brighton at Old Trafford, Bruno Fernandes appeared to be playing at center-back. United’s challenging start to the season continued as they were bested by Roberto De Zerbi’s impressive side, adding more pressure to Ten Hag’s tenure at the club.
United fell behind after 20 minutes when former Red Devil Danny Welbeck opened the scoring with a delightful finish from inside the penalty area. United believed they had equalized shortly thereafter when Rasmus Højlund thought he had notched his first goal for the club by capitalizing on Marcus Rashford’s pullback. However, VAR ruled that the ball had crossed the goal line for a goal kick before Rashford’s cross.
That was the peak of the performance for the home side. In less than 10 minutes into the second half, Brighton doubled their lead with Pascal Gross delivering his customary strike against United.
The situation took a bitter turn when Ten Hag opted to substitute Højlund for Anthony Martial in the 64th minute, resulting in boos from the home supporters.
A considerable number of fans were seen leaving the Theatre of Dreams. The situation worsened as Joao Pedro made it 3-0, converting Tariq Lamptey’s cross. United did manage to pull a goal back just two minutes later through Hannibal Mejbri, but it proved to be a mere consolation.
Towards the end of the match, Manchester United appeared to be in disarray. It concluded with captain Bruno Fernandes seemingly playing in the center-back position as the home side searched for a way back into the game. Whatever Ten Hag was attempting didn’t yield results, as United failed to significantly trouble Brighton and suffered a 3-1 defeat. However, the decision to deploy Bruno in defense created a buzz on social media, with numerous frustrated United fans expressing their discontent.
During this period, the Portuguese star did experience a challenging moment as the speedy Ansu Fati, on loan from Barcelona, raced past him and had his sidefooted attempt expertly saved by Andre Onana.
Footage of Bruno Fernandes playing centre back vs Brighton
Certain Chelsea fans don’t rate Billy Gilmour btw. He’s one of the most talented players to come out the academy imo 🤷🏻♂️
Fati should be scoring!
— Dean (@DeanCFC_) September 16, 2023
Bruno CB I have no words this club is finished pic.twitter.com/moXExALiD2
— Marwan Ahmed (@MarwanAhmed_KF) September 16, 2023
United now have just six points from their opening five matches. They opened their season with an unconvincing win at home to Wolves where the visitors were denied a penalty that should have been awarded. They were then beaten by Tottenham in their second game, with the north London side winning 2-0. In their third match, they found themselves 2-0 down at home to Nottingham Forest inside five minutes but rallied to win 3-2 thanks to Forest going down to 10 men. But they’ve now suffered back-to-back defeats. They were beaten by Arsenal 3-1 before the international break with the Gunners scoring two late goals through Declan Rice and Gabriel Jesus. And now they’ve suffered their worst moment of the campaign, a 3-1 loss at home to Brighton.
There could now be pressure on Ten Hag with a trip to Bayern Munich on the agenda on Wednesday. We don’t think he’ll be playing Bruno at centre back anytime soon..