Bruno Fernandes during the FA Cup match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford, Manchester, January 2022.

Watch: Bruno Fernandes avoids red for nasty challenge against Arsenal

Bruno Fernandes didn’t enjoy the best match of his career as Manchester United fell to a 3-1 defeat at Arsenal – and he was lucky to avoid a red card for a nasty challenge on Nuno Tavares.

Fernandes spoke at length during the week about United’s shortcomings this season, admitting that his current employers are miles behind Liverpool and Manchester City.

“Liverpool were just better than us, they did everything they had to do to win the game, and they deserved it,” the Portugal international said.

”Obviously this season has not been the best for us, we’re waiting for a different season, this one we thought it could be a different one but obviously we’re not at the same level as Manchester City and Liverpool.

“They are better than us at this moment and we have to accept that.”

And Fernandes will want to forget his performance at the Emirates on Saturday.

The midfielder missed a golden opportunity to score early on, opting for a chip that was blocked by Gabriel when a quick shot would have drawn United level.

He also failed to convert a second-half penalty, dragging his effort onto the post while Cristiano Ronaldo glared behind him.

To cap it all off, Fernandes can consider himself lucky that he wasn’t sent off for a vicious challenge on Tavares as the game slipped away from United.

Going in studs up, he made contact with Tavares just above the Arsenal defender’s ankle. Despite a VAR check, Fernandes remained on the field and was shown a yellow card by the match referee.

Defeat for United leaves them six points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, having played a game more, and their chances of qualifying for the Champions League would appear to be over.

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