Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes was delighted by Friday’s 2-1 win over Aston Villa that put them level on points with leaders Liverpool, but said his side must learn to kill teams off to sustain a Premier League title challenge.
United stretched their unbeaten league run to 10 games with Fernandes netting the winner from the penalty spot after Bertrand Traore had cancelled out the home side’s opener from Anthony Martial.
United largely controlled the game but Paul Pogba, Fernandes and Marcus Rashford failed to drive home their advantage.
In the dying minutes, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were forced to defend desperately with centre back Eric Bailly putting in a crucial stoppage-time block to deny Villa a draw.
“It was tough. We have to learn from this,” Fernandes told reporters after the game.
“We have to manage the game much better. We had some situations to close the game, you have to try and score because we know that teams can score. If we close the game early it is better. It is better. We have to take care of this.”
Pogba put in a solid performance in midfield, starting the move for Martial’s opener before winning the crucial penalty.
Fernandes is confident the France World Cup winner will continue to deliver strong performances.
“We all know the qualities he has. It is not in doubt here. He will give more and more with the confidence he gets game after game,” Fernandes said.
United next face Manchester City in the semi-final of the League Cup on Wednesday.