Hours of hard work on the training ground paid off in style to send the Red Devils through to the next round
Bruno Fernandes says hours of practice on the training ground has allowed him to perfect his free-kick technique, which paid off in stunning style in Manchester United’s FA Cup victory against Liverpool on Sunday.
Fernandes curled home a wonderful free-kick winner beyond Alisson from the edge of the penalty area on 78 minutes to send United through after a thrilling contest at Old Trafford.
Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford were also on target for the Red Devils, with a double from Mohamed Salah not enough for Jurgen Klopp’s side.
It is almost exactly a year since Fernandes joined United in a €55 million (£47m/$60m) deal from Sporting, with no Premier League player scoring more than the 28 goals he has scored in that time.
After his latest match-winning contribution, the 26-year-old reveal the secret to his success is hard work on the training ground, to the extent that his manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sometimes has to drag him from the field.
“Almost every day [I practice free-kicks], sometimes he [Solskjaer] has to kick me out of training to stop,” Fernandes told MUTV.
“I’m always working on that kind of situation, I like to watch and learn from Juan [Mata]. He’s a really good specialist and me and Juan stay out a lot, also Rashy, Alex [Telles], Fred, although I think it’s just for fun with Fred.
“Normally long distance is more for Rashy, for me the distance closer to the box is better for me and the kind of shot I have, if Juan or Alex are on the pitch it’s a chance for them on the right side.”
Speaking to BBC Sport, Fernandes added: “Edi [Cavani] before the free-kick told me: ‘try a hard one on the side of the keeper’. I tried it and it went in well.
“We have good free-kick takers but it depends on the moment, I felt good in that moment.
“We played well, we created a lot of chances, pressed them more than the game in the league.
“It is dream come true to play for this club in the Premier League.
“Everyone knows and I know now the fans are happy and will have a good week.”