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Bruno Fernandes reveals Erik ten Hag message that inspired Man Utd win

Bruno Fernandes has revealed the message that Erik ten Hag sent his Manchester United team to inspire the incredibly dramatic FA Cup quarter-final win over Liverpool.

With immense pressure on manager Ten Hag and his misfiring side, the Red Devils secured a remarkable 4-3 victory in stoppage time of extra time through substitute Amad Diallo.

United had trailed 2-1 at half-time of normal time despite Scott McTominay’s early goal and then found themselves 3-2 down at half-time of extra time before Marcus Rashford found an equaliser and Diallo’s classy finish won them an all-time classic FA Cup clash.

And United skipper Fernandes has now discussed what was said by Ten Hag at both half-times to ensure his side fought back from behind.

“The first 30 minutes were amazing and he [Ten Hag] said we should get back, have composure to get on the ball and be brave again, not fear the result was going against us,” explained Fernandes.

“He wanted us to show ourselves, give options and have belief because we’ve done it many times coming back from bad results and we will do it again, that was the message.”

Diallo’s strike sparked wild celebrations and secured an FA Cup semi-final against Coventry City, breathing new life into a season that had threatened to go into a tailspin.

Amad Diallo sparked wild celebrations with his late winner (Getty Images)
Amad Diallo sparked wild celebrations with his late winner (Getty Images)

Asked if he had ever seen scenes like that at Old Trafford before, Fernandes said: “I think the last year probably against Liverpool, it was the turnaround of last season and kind of the same.

“Today the game got a little bit spicy, a little more special because it’s an FA Cup game and if you lose, you’re out. We know the rivalry between fans, we know how United fans wanted us to win the game to give us something to celebrate because it’s not been great for us.

“We’ve talked about turnarounds but have never done the next step,” Fernandes said. “But I think we have to understand the FA Cup is a thing and the Premier League is another one.

“In the league now, we have 10 matches to go and we don’t depend on ourselves but as we saw Tottenham losing points to Fulham, Villa losing points to West Ham. But our main goal is to not lose points to Brentford away. We need to put our effort into winning that game.”

Fernandes also praised match-winner Diallo for coming off the bench and producing the winning goal.

“He got his reward because he’s doing the right things,” Fernandes said of the 21-year-old, who received a second yellow card for taking off his shirt.

“He deserves it. Unfortunately, he got sent off, but it’s part of the moment and part of being young. This moment has to be enjoyed and I think it’s one of the rules football has to change because you should be able to celebrate the goal, obviously with respect to other clubs, to enjoy your moment.”

Diallo’s strike sent Man Utd into the FA Cup semi-finals (Getty Images)
Diallo’s strike sent Man Utd into the FA Cup semi-finals (Getty Images)

Diallo has found game-time hard to come by for Man United this season, with Sunday’s appearance just his fourth of the campaign. And the youngster says the day will live long in his memory, as he tries to use it as a springboard to bigger things.

“It was an unbelievable day for me. I want to celebrate this moment with my family and the fans, who supported us all game,” said Diallo. “I think today was one of the best games for Manchester United and I scored a last-minute goal against Liverpool. It was an unbelievable moment for me.

“It is very special for me because it was my dream to play for Manchester United. I was in Sunderland last season and I came here to wait for my chance. To score my second goal for Manchester United was very important for me.

“I wait for my chance and, for me, every game is like a Champions League final. Whether I start or I am on the bench, it is important for me to be ready every time.”

He also reflected on the yellow card for his over-exuberant celebration that caused him to be sent off.

He added: “I forgot the first yellow! But it was important we won today, so I am very happy.”

Additional reporting by PA