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‘Fernandes has been phenomenal for Man Utd’ – Ferdinand defends midfielder after ineffective display against Liverpool

The Portugal international midfielder had a rare off day in the 0-0 draw at Anfield

Rio Ferdinand has leapt to the defence of Bruno Fernandes following his below-par display in Manchester United’s draw with Liverpool on Sunday.

Fernandes has been an inspirational figure for United, and he picked up his fourth Premier League Player of the Month award when scooping December’s gong.

He was tipped to have a big impact against Liverpool, but he was short of his best – particularly in the passing department – with his accuracy down at 58 percent.

The Portugal international did come close to scoring in the second half but saw his effort kept out by Reds goalkeeper Alisson.

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A goal would have glossed over a rare disappointing display, but United great Ferdinand feels Fernandes must be cut some slack on account of his record since arriving at the club from Sporting CP last January.

“They looked off but we’re top of the league so I always look at it like that,” Ferdinand said on Stretford Paddock in response to questions about the performances of Fernandes and Marcus Rashford. “Yeah, there might be players off form, but if you’re still nicking results and you’re still winning and you’re still in a healthy position, that’s not a bad thing. 

“If we played this game and had zero shots on target and we looked like we had no threat at all, then I’d be a little bit concerned.

“But, listen, you can’t talk about [Bruno]. I wouldn’t say Bruno’s looked off recently. The geezer’s output has been phenomenal.”

The 0-0 draw kept United top of the Premier League table, two points clear of Manchester City and Leicester City, and Ferdinand was happy with the result.

“If I look at it as a player, when I played, I’d have taken a 0-0 before the game,” he said. “I think the players, Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer], before the game would have sat there and said, ‘If we get a 0-0 we’ll take that, we’re still top of the league and we’ll just build on it.’

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“So I think they’ll be quietly satisfied with what they did. They didn’t pull up any trees, didn’t play particularly well, but we didn’t play bad and we didn’t look like a team inferior to the other, which was a good sign for confidence going forward.”

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