Fernandes showcased his match-winning quality when he expertly volleyed the ball into the net after receiving a pinpoint long pass from Jonny Evans. The goal marked a return to form for the Portuguese midfielder and breathed new life into Manchester United’s campaign.
The victory propelled the Red Devils to eighth place in the Premier League table, offering some respite for manager Erik ten Hag, who had faced mounting pressure in recent weeks.
Burnley, on the other hand, continued to struggle in their Premier League return, failing to secure a win and finding themselves at the bottom of the league table.
United’s injury woes forced the 35-year-old Jonny Evans into the centre-back position for the first time since his return to the club. Evans played a pivotal role in the match, not only providing the assist for Fernandes’ goal but also having a goal ruled out and contributing to a resolute United defence that had conceded 10 goals in their previous three games.
Erik ten Hag’s bold team selection paid off, with young talent Hannibal Mejbri earning just his second Premier League start, and Scott McTominay bolstering the midfield in place of Christian Eriksen.
United nearly got off to a flying start when Fernandes tested Burnley’s goalkeeper, James Trafford, with a powerful shot from a tight angle.
Goalkeeper Andre Onana, who had taken responsibility for a recent defeat to Bayern Munich, made a crucial save when he denied Zeki Amdouni’s header, preventing Burnley from taking the lead.
Amdouni came agonisingly close to scoring again, striking the inside of the post after a flowing Burnley move cut through the United defence.
While Burnley, under the guidance of former Manchester City captain Vincent Kompany, played a different style of football compared to their physical approach under Sean Dyche, they were still seeking their first win of the season.
United had a goal disallowed when Evans took advantage of lax marking to head in Sergio Reguilon’s corner, only for Rasmus Hojlund to be flagged offside in front of Trafford.
The game-changing moment arrived just before half-time when Fernandes brilliantly connected with Evans’ long cross-field pass, volleying the ball into the bottom corner of the net.
The second half witnessed few clear-cut chances for either side. Hojlund came close to opening his Premier League account but narrowly missed connecting with Diogo Dalot’s cross, while Trafford denied Marcus Rashford in the dying moments.
Ultimately, the three points were all that mattered for Manchester United, as they secured a gritty win that may serve as a turning point in their season, bringing some much-needed optimism to Old Trafford.
(With inputs from AFP)