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Bruno Fernandes: 'Liverpool are not playing poorly'

Bruno Fernandes: 'Liverpool are not playing poorly'
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The misfiring Reds travel to Old Trafford in the FA Cup on Sunday.

Bruno Fernandes is not reading too much into Liverpool's poor recent run as the Manchester United midfielder attempts to knock their bitter rivals out of the FA Cup.

A week on from the sides' tense 0-0 Premier League draw at an empty Anfield, Jurgen Klopp's men head to Old Trafford for Sunday's eagerly-anticipated fourth-round encounter.

Liverpool make the trip along the M62 enduring a rare shaky moment, with Thursday's shock 1-0 loss to Burnley their first home league defeat since April 2017.

The third-round triumph against the youngsters of coronavirus-hit Aston Villa is the only win they have managed in their last six matches in all competitions but Fernandes knows they can bounce back at any point.

"I think teams have moments," the Portugal international said. "I don't think Liverpool are playing poorly. I think they don't win and this is the point.

"When teams don't win, everyone talks about that. When players don't score, everyone talks about that.

"I feel that on me because I know the standard is high, because I arrived and I scored a lot of goals and make a lot of assists, and everyone is wanting goals and assists from me.

"It is the same – everyone expects goals from (Mohamed) Salah, from (Roberto) Firmino and from (Sadio) Mane.

"They are not scoring in the last games and it starts feeling like 'oh, they are not playing well'.

"They create, they play, but the other teams are playing better and, as I said before, they have more qualities to play.

"Every team goes there to play maybe without the pressure of the fans. Teams play a little bit more comfortably and, as I say, I think it is a moment.

"We don't have to look at that moment because big teams and big players can show in every moment."

Fernandes is hoping to taste victory against Liverpool for the first time since arriving at United and will be desperate to make amends for missing a fine chance to win last weekend's game at Anfield.

"In the past already I have seen Manchester playing for a long time and I know what that game means for the fans," he said.

"Everyone knows and of course, for us, it means a lot because it is a cup (tie) and it is a chance to put one of the strongest teams who are in the cup with us out, so we have to take that.

"Of course, we have so many teams in the cup in this moment that maybe you can have an easier game than this.

Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have been short of their best recently
Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah and Roberto Firmino have been short of their best recently (Michael Regan/PA)

"But if you want to win the cup then you have to beat the biggest teams, so we have a chance now to beat one of the best that is left in the FA Cup."

United head into Sunday's match buoyed by their place atop of the Premier League pile, having won a tough clash at Fulham on Wednesday evening.

Paul Pogba's stunning goal sealed a 2-1 win for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men at Craven Cottage, providing a welcome shot in the arm ahead of the cup clash with Liverpool.

"Well, you always recover well when you win so I am ready for the next one," Fernandes told club media, having made his 50th appearance for United.

"As everyone knows, I think without the fans it is harder to play because the teams are playing with a little bit of less pressure, so they can keep the ball, they have more time on the ball, they start playing with it a little bit more.

"Maybe before the pressure of the fans to call them to go forward, and go direct, and all of that stuff, but teams now play a bit more and I really liked the way Fulham played.

"They didn't surprise me because I had seen some games of theirs and I think they have really good qualities.

"They are well trained to be better than where they are in this moment."

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Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp pictured on January 4, 2021
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City27205256173965
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd27149453322151
3Leicester CityLeicester27155746311550
4Chelsea27138642251747
5Everton2614483933646
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham2613674031945
7Liverpool27127847351243
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs26126842271542
9Aston Villa251231038271139
10Arsenal26114113427737
11Leeds UnitedLeeds26112134344-135
12Wolverhampton WanderersWolves2797112837-934
13Crystal Palace2797112943-1434
14Southampton2686123144-1330
15Burnley2778121935-1629
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton26511102633-726
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2675142744-1726
18Fulham27411122133-1223
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom2738162056-3617
20Sheffield UnitedSheff Utd2742211643-2714

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