Bruno Fernandes was happy to revel in Liverpool’s misery after helping Manchester United secure the final place in next season’s Champions League.
Fernandes scored as United eased to a 4-1 win against a dreadful Chelsea side at Old Trafford on Thursday night. The win moved them onto 72 points and ensured they are guaranteed to finish in the top four, regardless of what happens on the final day of the season on Sunday.
Casemiro headed them into the lead from Christian Eriksen’s free-kick before Anthony Martial tapped in Jadon Sancho’s cross to make it 2-0 at half-time. Fernandes converted a penalty after being tripped by Wesley Fofana and Marcus Rashford netted a rebound before Joao Felix grabbed a late consolation goal.
United are third, two points above Newcastle, going into their last game against Fulham this weekend, while Liverpool will play in the Europa League next season after finishing fifth. Fernandes insisted his focus was on his own side, but admitted that denying Liverpool a place in Europe’s premier competition did sweeten things.
“We know that means a lot, for us it’s about getting our goals completed so we did,” he told Sky Sports. “Obviously we knew they [the fans] would be happy for Liverpool to not be there but for us it’s not about that, it’s getting the best we can for ourselves because we have to look after ourselves.”
That message was hammered home by Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah, who fired out an emotional tweet after the United result. He wrote: “I’m totally devastated. There’s absolutely no excuse for this. We had everything we needed to make it to next year’s Champions League and we failed.
“We are Liverpool and qualifying to the competition is the bare minimum. I am sorry but it’s too soon for an uplifting or optimistic post. We let you and ourselves down.”
United have already won the Carabao Cup this season and have the chance to add another piece of silverware when they face Manchester City in the FA Cup final on June 3. Fernandes is happy with the Champions League place, but says United are not happy yet.
“It’s decent, it’s not perfect because we want more,” he said. “For what we did this season it’s great - one trophy and we get the top four, that was our goal after deciding we couldn’t go for the Premier League. Now it’s about finishing really well and going to the FA Cup and winning.”
It wasn’t all positive for United, who lost Antony to injury in the first half. The Brazilian winger was stretchered off after being caught by Trevoh Chalobah in the first half.2023-05-25T21:52:39Z dg43tfdfdgfd