Ten Hag defends Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro over post-match tiff

‘I don’t have a problem with that’: Erik ten Hag defends Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro over their fiery post-match row after Man United’s victory against Aston Villa… as he instead lauds ‘willingness and desire’ shown by his arguing players

  • The players were caught arguing after the whistle blew in United’s 1-0 win
  • Casemiro and Fernandes have been involved in heated conversations before

Erik ten Hag has said he saw ‘no problem’ with Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro’s heated argument at full time after Manchester United beat Aston Villa on Sunday. 

Cameras caught the post-match spat and images appeared to show the former Real Madrid midfielder lambasting his team-mate before Harry Maguire came over to intervene. 

Fernandes had scored the only goal of the game in a 1-0 win for United, which boosted their chances of finishing in the top four.

Casemiro and the Portuguese midfielder have previously been caught arguing on the pitch, most recently after winning the Carabao Cup at Wembley. 

The Brazilian called out his team-mate amid the celebrations to question why Fernandes had failed to pass in front of goal when United were 2-0 up.

Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro (right) were caught arguing after the final whistle on Sunday

But Erik ten Hag has urged his players to continue communicating and showing ‘ambition’

But speaking to United’s official website, Ten Hag said that he encouraged discussions between his players. 

‘Yes, of course [I encourage them],’ the former Ajax coach said. ‘They have to communicate. That have to organise it and make sure we get a win.

‘So when they are talking to each other, in discussion, debating with each other, I don’t have a problem with that.

‘It showed willingness and showed ambition from this team.’

Fernandes has been involved in several heated discussions with team-mates since his move to Manchester in 2020. 

During the Villa game, Jadon Sancho was spotted telling the Portugal international to ‘stop moaning’ after Fernandes dramatically threw up his arms in frustration after Sancho was dispossessed by Leander Dendoncker. 

The pair later put their differences behind them, hugging after Fernandes found the back of Emiliano Martinez’s net. 

Fernandes and Victor Lindelof  had a fiery exchange of words during United’s 2020 Europa League final defeat at the hands of Sevilla. 

Lindelof was the target of Fernandes’ ire after he believed the defender was involved in conceding Luuk De Jong’s 78th-minute winner, and fighting back, the Sweden international barked ‘f*** you’ and ‘filho da puta’ (Portuguese for ‘son of a b****’).

United still challenge on two fronts: pursuit of top four finish to ensure Champions League football next season, and June’s FA Cup final against crosstown rivals Manchester City. 

The Red Devils are keeping pace nicely with their Carabao Cup opponents, who currently sit two points above them in third. 

But Ten Hag’s side may yet find themselves under threat from old foes Liverpool. 

The pair previously tussled following their February Carabao Cup win against Newcastle 

But the nadir of Fernandes’ arguments came in an expletive-riddled exchange of words with team-mate Victor Lindelof during their abortive 2020 Europa League final

Jurgen Klopp’s team has had an inconsistent season but as the season’s end draws closer, the Reds have rediscovered form by exploiting the tweaked role of under-fire defender Trent Alexander-Arnold. 

A string of much-improved results have Liverpool only four points behind United in fifth place. 

United’s next test will come against Brighton, after meeting Roberto De Zerbi’s side in their FA Cup semi-final at the end of April. 

The south coast outfit moved on from defeat with a shock loss against Nottingham Forest in their next Premier League match but looked back to their imperious best in Sunday’s 6-0 demolition of Wolves at the Amex. 

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