Bruno Fernandes has denied asking to be substituted off during Manchester United‘s humiliating 7-0 defeat at Liverpool.
Gary Neville claimed on Sky Sports commentary duty that the United captain requested to be taken off after Mohamed Salah scored Liverpool’s sixth goal.
The United legend described Fernandes as a ‘disgrace’ and criticised his body language and petulant behaviour as his team capitulated.
But, according to The Sun, Fernandes was simply asking manager Erik ten Hag and the United bench for clarification about which position he was to play in following a substitution as he gestured in their direction.
It came after Ten Hag sent on Anthony Elanga for Marcus Rashford in a reshuffle of United’s forward line.
Gary Neville accused Bruno Fernandes of asking to be brought off in Man United’s 7-0 hammering by Liverpool – something now denied by the Portuguese star
Gary Neville (right) tore into Bruno Fernandes for his whinging antics against Liverpool
The Portuguese playmaker endured a woeful afternoon at Anfield as United were hammered 7-0 by rivals Liverpool in one of the most astonishing results in modern football history, with the player himself coming in for plenty of stick.
Fernandes also escaped punishment from the Football Association after pushing one of the assistant referees during the defeat.
With Mohamed Salah just having added a sixth, and in the process becoming the club’s all-time leading Premier League scorer, Neville, on co-commentary duty for Sky Sports, said some of Fernandes’ behaviour had been a ‘disgrace’ after he appeared to moan and complain regularly.
Elanga had just entered the fray, with Rashford withdrawn. Fernandes, standing over the ball in the centre circle to take another United restart, opened his arms and had a scornful look in the direction of the bench.
‘Bruno Fernandes is stood in the centre circle with his arms raised asking: “Why is it me not coming off?” Neville said. ‘Honestly, I have to say some of his behaviour in the second half has been a disgrace.’
Captaining the side on the day, Fernandes appeared to spend much of the second half berating his team-mates, making niggly fouls, whining at the referee and just exuding a particularly negative attitude.
Joining Graeme Souness, Roy Keane and Jamie Carragher in the studio post-match, Neville doubled down on his criticisms of the Portuguese.
‘I’m going to start with Bruno Fernandes,’ a fuming Neville said. ‘I’ve had enough of him throwing his arms around at his team-mates; I’ve had enough of him not running back; he whinges at everybody.’
The Portuguese midfielder’s behaviour during the heavy defeat has been criticised
Bruno Fernandes has escaped punishment from the FA for pushing the linesman on Sunday
Fernandes was involved in arguments with the referee and his assistant during the 7-0 defeat
He added: ‘He got pushed in the chest and went down holding his face. He’s got to put a captain’s performance in out there and that wasn’t a captain’s performance by a Manchester United player.’
‘Fernandes’s body language today was disgraceful,’ fellow pundit Keane added.
‘He’s a really talented boy, he’s your captain. But his body language, waving his arms not running back, you wouldn’t be happy with him.’
Sportsmail’s Chris Sutton also found significant issues with the behaviour shown by Fernandes, noting his push on the assistant referee when trying to take a throw in quickly during the first half.
‘Bruno Fernandes shoved the referee’s assistant. He acted as if his nose had exploded when caught in the chest by Ibrahima Konate. He dived to try to win a penalty from Alisson. He refused to track Stefan Bajcetic when beaten,’ he wrote.
‘He waved his arms in the air when Erik ten Hag did not substitute him. Bruno Fernandes, take a bow for one of the worst performances we have seen from a Premier League player, certainly from a captain.
‘The Incredible Sulk racked up quite the rap sheet at Anfield. There was nothing professional about this behaviour. It was more befitting a petulant child, and the push on the assistant should result in a ban, no ifs and buts.’
Fernandes fronted up in a post-match interview and told Sky Sports that Liverpool’s defeat was a ‘really bad result’ for him and his team-mates to take.
‘It’s frustrating. It’s a really bad result, we came here with a different mindset. The first half was really good, we controlled most of it, the second half was not at our level,’ Fernandes said. ‘We give too much space away. We know what a threat they are.
‘It was not our level. We know we can be better. Its just about going to the next game. The team tries to react but we lost a bit of balance and control. We gave too much space to a team that is strong on the counter. The games our coming quick.
‘We know this team is really good and can do really good things. We have set a really good standard for ourselves, now its just about getting back to that. We are still in the Europa League and FA Cup, we have to get back on track.’
‘We are in the hunt to win the next game against [Real] Betis. We have to go game by game,’ added the Portuguese.