Bruno Fernandes’s extra-time penalty was enough to secure Manchester United a spot in the Europa League semi-finals at FC Copenhagen’s expense – but it was not the Portugal international’s finest display.
And clearly his manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, held the same view as he aimed a subtle dig in the midfielder’s direction following United’s 1-0 triumph in Lisbon on Monday evening.
Getty Images – Contributor
Fernandes saw the funny side of the exchange after Monday night’s match
At the end of the contest Fernandes was deep in discussion with Copenhagen counterpart Zeca, when Solskjaer approached the pair.
Zeca initially congratulated the Norwegian on the impact he’s made during his tenure at Old Trafford to date, before talk turned towards the game as Solskjaer told him he wanted to substitute Fernandes.
“He was giving you the ball all the time,” the 47-year-old remarked.
To Fernandes’ credit he took the whole exchange with good humour, as the United boss ended by telling Zeca to look after Copenhagen boss and his former Norway teammate Stale Solbakken.
Copenhagen’s Zeca to Solskjaer: “Thank you very much for everything you’re doing with Manchester United.”
Ole: “We’re trying to get it back. [Bruno]’s helping!”
— Football on BT Sport #Club2020 (@btsportfootball) August 11, 2020
Zeca: “Hey, thank you very much for everything youve done in Manchester.”
Solskjaer: “Were trying to get it back. Hes helping [points to Fernandes]. This boy is helping.”
Solskjaer: “Hes a little bit angry I wanted to take him off.”
Zeca: “I was a little bit angry you didnt take him off before, but ok.
Solskjaer: He was giving you the ball all the time.
Zeca: Even though Sporting is my team, but yeah.”
Solskjaer: “Keep going.”
Zeca: “Youre doing a good job.”
Solskjaer: “Youve got his shirt? Well done, all the best.”
Zeca: “All the best, take care.”
Solskjaer: “Look after Stale [Solbakken].”
United will now play either Wolves or Sevilla in the last four of the competition on August 16.
Meanwhile, Antonio Conte’s Inter will face either Shakhtar Donetsk or FC Basel in the next round after a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Monday night.
When quizzed which of the two sides he’d rather face in the semi-final, Solskjaer responded: “Two good teams, definitely.
“We know everything about Wolverhampton and I had Sevilla in the last 16 with Molde, so Id like to get back at them. I dont mind.”