Man Utd 1:3 Brighton: Bruno Fernandes Spotted Playing Centre Back in the Final Minutes

Man Utd 1:3 Brighton: Bruno Fernandes Spotted Playing Centre Back in the Final Minutes

Elijah Odetokun
updated at September 16, 2023 at 5:38 PM
In this article:
Bruno Fernandes logo
B. Fernandes
Manchester United logoMPortugal logo
English Premier League logo
ENG Premier League
  • Manchester United lost 3-1 at home to a heavily rotated Brighton and Hove Albion
  • Erik ten Hag's men were lacklustre against their dominant opponents
  • The Dutch tactician made a tweak at the end of the game, with Bruno Fernandes pushed behind

Manchester United's thin squad was on display against Brighton as captain Bruno Fernandes ended the game as a centre-half.

Roberto De Zerbi heavily rotated his team, resting six first-team players ahead of their first-ever UEFA Europa League game against AEK Athens on Thursday.

Former Manchester United star Danny Welbeck opened the scoring in the 20th minute before Pascal Groß made it 2-0 eight minutes into the second half after deleting Lisandro Martinez and slotting past Andrey Onana.

Alejandro Garnacho, Manchester United, Bruno Fernandes, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Erik ten Hag.
Bruno Fernandes finished the game against Brighton as a centre-back. Photo by Ash Donelon.
Source: Getty Images

The afternoon was made worse after substitute João Pedro added a third. Rasmus Hojlund appeared to have equalised for United, but the ball had gone out of play. Hannibal Mejbri scored his first senior goal to make it 3-1.

Fernandes deployed as centre-half

As spotted by ESPN, United captain Bruno Fernandes finished the game as a third centre-back after Erik ten shook things up in the 85th minute with three substitutions.

The formation was tweaked to 3-4-3 after the introduction of Alejandro Garnacho, Facundo Pellistri and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, which forced the Portuguese midfielder to play as a right-sided centre-back in a three-man defence.

This was done to help the team utilise his ball-moving skills to push the ball out of the defence as they sought late goals after Onana's long balls failed to help the team build from behind, completing only two out of 13.

This shows the Red Devils' lack of squad depth after Sancho was banished from the team for clashing with the manager, and Antony was excused to deal with sexual assault allegations against him.

United begin their UEFA Champions League campaign on Wednesday with an away trip to Allianz Arena to face Bayern Munich.

Sancho spotted watching U18 game

Sports Brief reported that Jadon Sancho was spotted watching a U18 game after he was excluded from the first team group over his failure to apologise to manager Erik ten Hag.

The English winger has been training with the youth team since returning from the international break and appears to be enjoying himself watching his new "teammates".

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.
Erik Ten HaagOld Trafford