Manchester United bank on Bruno Fernandes for crunch tie
Covid-19 positive Bruno Fernandes is in a “last-minute race” to be fit for the return leg of Manchester United’s Champions League last-16 tie against Atletico Madrid, manager Ralf Rangnick said.
Fernandes, who has nine goals and 14 assists for United this season, missed their 3-2 win over Tottenham Hotspur on the weekend, along with teammates Luke Shaw and Scott McTominay.
While giving an update on the status of the trio, Rangnick said Bruno’s absence was caused by a positive Covid-19 test. “With Scotty, I hope (he is fit) but he had some muscular problems with his calf,” Rangnick said.
“That’s why we decided not to play him (against Spurs), because Scotty ... is only valuable if he can perform with 100 per cent of his physical capacity.
“Luke hopefully will be back in training and Bruno we will have to wait and see until Tuesday. This will probably be a last-minute race with him — due to Covid-19. ”
Rangnick is hoping Cristiano Ronaldo can reproduce his form from the weekend against Atletico.
The Portugal forward returned from a hip injury to roll back the years with a hat-trick against Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League on Saturday, laying claim to the all-time leading scorer record in professional football with 807 goals.
With the last-16 tie at home to Atletico level at 1-1 after the first leg in Madrid, Rangnick said he had no concerns that Ronaldo, 37, might struggle after his exertions against Spurs.
“His overall performance was good, if not very good, and this is what we hope to see from him again tomorrow (Tuesday) night,” the interim manager told a news conference on Monday.
“I’m not worried that he’s not been able to recover. He’s always been a person that looks after himself and his body. He knows what to do.”