Paul Scholes praised Bruno Fernandes for “sacrificing” playing in his best position for the benefit of Manchester United, just as Wayne Rooney did to “accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo”.
The Portugal international started the game on the wing before shifting inside into his favoured No. 10 position in the second half.
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It is not the first time that Fernandes has been deployed on the flank by Ten Hag as he tries out different combinations in the forward line.
“Sacrifice is what it’s all about in these big games,” said former United midfielder Scholes on BT Sport.
“Rooney did it so many times to accommodate Cristiano Ronaldo, bringing that anticipation and quality to the team that Bruno has, and wherever he plays in the team he is capable of creating a goal.”
Rooney sometimes played out wide during his time at Old Trafford which allowed Ronaldo to play more central.
Ex-United forward Robin van Persie thinks Fernandes’ commitment to the cause is demonstrating how much he wants the team to succeed.
Van Persie said: “Fernandes plays on the wing, great players do that for the team, Rooney did it as well many times.
“When you are a great player you are a team player, when the team needs you on the wing he does that, he is showing he wants to win for the team and for everyone.
“Even as a winger he is still doing well but in the centre of the pitch he is by far the best.”
Former Manchester United midfielder Owen Hargreaves added: “Bruno is doing a job for the manager on the right-hand side, to play balls and crosses into the box, but you can see he is so much more comfortable as a No. 10.
“He effects the game, he did in Barcelona, he did it here tonight.”
Fred and Antony scored the goals as United came from behind to beat Barcelona and advance to the last 16 of the Europa League.
United will join Premier League rivals Arsenal in the draw, which takes place on Friday, February 24.
Reflecting on United’s performance against Barcelona, Fernandes told BT Sport: “The belief of the team is always there, the belief by the fans is amazing, they pushed us through difficult moments this season and we have made great comebacks. The club is made by that, we know in the past we have done a lot like this result.
“They have been with us in the toughest moments. This season we have been really good, because also they are always behind us, but this season there is something different, you can feel it between them and us.
“We have something special. They see that we are doing all we can to win games for them and the push they gave us this evening, Old Trafford was bouncing, that’s why we get the result.”
United play Newcastle in the League Cup final on Sunday as they bid to win their first silverware since 2017.
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