Jose Mourinho aimed a sly dig at Manchester United and Bruno Fernandes over the number of penalties scored they have scored this season.
Manchester United were awarded a record 14 penalties during the course of the 2019/20 Premier League. While the side struggled with their penalties initially, the arrival of Bruno Fernandes made the problem cease to exist.
The 25-year-old’s arrival at Old Trafford has really spurred on the club’s performance on the field. The Red Devils are yet to taste defeat in the league since January with Fernandes playing a prominent role in the club’s revival.
The Portuguese midfielder has managed to tuck away all four of the penalties that Manchester United have been awarded since January. This seemed an aspect that Jose Mourinho could really stress upon, and he did so in a subtle way.
Jose Mourinho could not resist
José Mourinho: "Bruno [Fernandes] came in, was fit, played very well, improved the #mufc team and also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score." #mulive [record, @Sport_Witness]
— utdreport (@utdreport) July 29, 2020
The Tottenham Hotspur manager has managed to push the side to a Europa League spot and has a job at hand if they intend to end their trophy drought.
Mourinho, who is back in Portugal for a break with Spurs’ season culmination, was asked about the Portuguese’s performances with the Red Devils by Portuguese newspaper Record. In reply, Mourinho could not help but take a sly dig at Fernandes with his reply. He said:
“Bruno [Fernandes] came in, was fit, played very well, improved the team, and also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world because he had about 20 to score.”
Fernandes had scored against Mourinho’s Tottenham Hotspur through a penalty to salvage a point in London. The midfielder had won another penalty late into the match, but it was eventually overturned by VAR. Fernandes’ actions to win the penalty did not go down to well with Mourinho who claimed later:
‘Fernandes comes from a country that I know well. The second one was incredible for me. If VAR goes for simulation, the players could be exposed and given a yellow card.’
It was a penalty as well which sealed Manchester United’s spot in the Champions League next season. A blatant foul against Anthony Martial was more than enough for the referee to point to the spot.
Tottenham, on the other hand, were only awarded 4 penalties over the course of the campaign. The club were denied a penalty despite a clear push on Harry Kane in a 0-0 draw away to Bournemouth which the VAR claimed as the wrong decision later on.