When Bruno Fernandes curled in Manchester United’s second goal on 69 minutes a seated Erik ten Hag raised his arms in delight. The strike directly followed Harry Kane missing a gilded opportunity to equalise when smashing against David de Gea from close range. From this the hosts raced 80 yards upfield with Antony and the excellent Fred involved before United’s talisman bent a supreme finish past Hugo Lloris for only a second of the season.
Ten Hag had spoken of how more goals would come for Fernandes and provide all that has been missing from the Portuguese. In line with the playmaker’s performance, United’s display this evening felt a significant step forward. They dominated from first whistle to last, Marcus Rashford going close to a third towards the end of a victory that lifts them to 19 points; four behind Tottenham, who remain third, and Manchester City in second.