Graeme Souness branded Bruno Fernandes a ‘joke’ and accused the Manchester United star of neglecting the ‘fundamentals’ in the build-up to Manchester City’s opening goal in Saturday’s derby at Old Trafford.
Pep Guardiola’s side flew out of the blocks and took the lead in the seventh minute, albeit in slightly fortuitous circumstances when Eric Bailly sliced Joao Cancelo’s cross into his own net.
Although the Ivory Coast international’s attempt to clear the ball was clumsy at best, Souncess’ ire was reserved for Fernandes who failed to track back and jogged towards his international teammate in a half-hearted attempt to block his centre.
He told Sky Sports: “Watch Fernandes here. ‘Why don’t you cross the ball here I’m not going to close you down’.
“It’s a simple thing but it’s a fundamental thing, stop the crosses. Stop the crosses, do your mates in the middle of the goal a favour by putting the ball under pressure to stop the cross.
“That is a joke and the second goal is brought about by people doing the same thing and not doing the fundamental things.”
A cruel start to the afternoon for Eric Bailly as Kyle Walker fizzed in a cross that Ilkay Gundogan could not direct at goal.
The ball came out to the left, and Joao Cancelo’s left footed cross was diverted into the United net by Bailly’s stretching foot.
The Old Trafford club got themselves in trouble by trying to play out from the back with Wan-Bissaka and Fernandes.
City won the ball back and Walker put a wonderful ball in that was almost converted by Phil Foden.
But Lindelof cleared it and City came at them again, this time getting another great ball in which was sent into his own net by Eric Bailly.
Another game, another failure to keep a clean sheet at home by Man Utd.
Manchester United are now without a clean sheet in their last 14 home games in all competitions – they’ve only had one longer run in their entire history without a home clean sheet, a 21-game run between April 1958 and March 1959.
Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel has lauded Conor Gallagher, claiming he ‘has not been hard to follow’ amid his purple patch on loan at Crystal Palace.
The midfielder has scored three goals and laid on two assists in nine appearances for Patrick Vieira’s men since securing a season-long loan to Selhurst Park from the Stamford Bridge outfit.
The England U21 international continued his fine form for Palace last weekend, assisting the first and netted the second in their shock 2-0 win away at Manchester City.
Tuchel has now revealed the plan was for Gallagher to remain as part of his squad for this season until Palace made their interest known, but insists he possesses quality and heart that is ‘so big’.
“He is not hard to follow because he is standing out every single matchday so it’s an easy one to follow and credit to him,” Tuchel said ahead of the Blues’ Premier League home game against Burnley on Saturday.
“We had long talks in pre-season and we imagined he could stay and fight for his place here.
“But we decided that when the talks came up with Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace, he understood the role he could have in the Premier League at the club. He wanted to take the challenge.
“We also agreed to let him go because we thought, in the end, this could be the right thing to do. You need a bit of luck and, of course, a lot of quality.
“Conor’s heart is so, so big; you could wake him up at 4am and he’ll start running and sprinting, collecting balls and winning duels. This is what he does. He feels good and has the trust of the club and manager.
“Right now, it’s the beginning of November and he is an important member of the Crystal Palace squad. It’s good where he is and there is no need to change this. He feels good and feels a huge part at this club.’