I n the end, it was not Bruno Fernandes but another substitute Manchester United midfielder with an eye for goal who secured his side's passage through to the FA Cup quarter-finals. Yet there was little doubting that this was another of those occasions that made you wonder where Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side would be without their talisman Portuguese to guide the way. Fernandes, inevitably, had a part to play in the goal, emphatically dispatched by the maturing Scott McTominay, that broke West Ham's resistance in the seventh minute of extra time on a bitterly cold night at Old Trafford. The only time Fernandes enhances his burgeoning reputation more than when he is bestriding United's midfield is when he is missing and the team look a little lost in his absence. This was one of those games. United may have dominated possession and the shot count and deserved their narrow win but they were looking desperately short of ideas and direction by the time Fernandes and McTominay were introduced with 17 minutes remaining in a bid to inject some spark and quell West Ham's advancements. Donny van de Beek's time at Old Trafford may yet come but, given a rare outing… Read full this story
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