- Fernandes discusses Man Utd improvement
- Hails Lisandro Martinez's influence
- Points to one key moment vs Liverpool
WHAT HAPPENED? Victory over Barcelona ensured United secured their spot in the Europa League last 16, but also gave them a huge mental boost ahead of their Carabao Cup final clash against Newcastle, in what is a huge week for the club. Erik ten Hag's side have looked better with each passing week after a slow start, which Fernandes believes stems from their victory over Liverpool in August.
WHAT THEY SAID: "I think the turnaround of our season is the Liverpool game," He explained in a sit-down interview with Sky Sports. "The atmosphere was buzzing. I think the first tackle of Licha [Lisandro Martinez] makes straight the fans go up and you could feel straight away there that everyone understood it has to be our moment. That it has to be our turnaround, to be the game that we win and make things change.
"And I think from that game on we did a pretty good run until City - obviously we had that bad result. But after that it was unbelievable until Arsenal."
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Fernandes has been United's captain for most of the season with club skipper Harry Maguire reduced to a role from the bench. Before the Liverpool game, United lost their season opener at home to Brighton and were thrashed 4-0 away to Brentford, leaving many fearful that things would only get worse against their rivals.
However, their victory over the Reds - where Martinez put in a statement display - proved the catalyst for Ten Hag, who began to stamp his authority on the club. Performances improved and United went on a six-game winning run before being beaten 6-3 by Manchester City.
Since that defeat, Ten Hag's side have continued to improve and now boast home wins against City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Tottenham and Barcelona this season, while also forcing themselves into the Premier League title race.
IN THREE PHOTOS:GettyGetty Images
WHAT NEXT FOR MANCHESTER UNITED? Fernandes has the chance to lift his first major honour with United since joining in 2020 on Sunday when they take on Newcastle at Wembley. Ten Hag, though, has made it clear that the Carabao Cup is not the only trophy they want to win this season.