Bruno Fernandes has insisted he is more than just a penalty specialist following Jose Mourinho’s dig at Manchester United’s spot-kick record.
The Tottenham manager took a swipe at United regarding the amount of spot-kicks Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were awarded last season.
Fernandes, had a 100 per cent record from 12 yards for the Red Devils – scoring eight last campaign, but he has pointed out that only Manchester City star Kevin De Bruyne was involved in more goals from open play.
‘Bruno came in, he was fit, played very well and improved the United team,’ Mourinho told Portuguese newspaper Record.
‘He also proved to be a great penalty taker, one of the best in the world, because he had about 20 to score!’.
Fernandes made an instant impact following his £68million January move from Sporting Lisbon, scoring 12 goals and providing eight assists in 22 matches.
The 25-year-old pointed out his influence on games during the second half of the season, comparing himself to Manchester City maestro De Bruyne.
‘I hear people saying, “ah, he only scores from penalty kicks”… but a little while ago, I saw the statistics and, except for penalties, only Kevin De Bruyne has a higher involvement in goals than me in England when it comes to midfielders,’.
Fernandes defended himself and said Mourinho’s jibe about him being ‘a great penalty taker, because he had about 20 to score’ is a ‘reality’.
‘I honestly did not feel stung,’ he added. ‘I feel that I am a good penalty taker and nothing more, I understand, but what I take from his [Mourinho’s] words, because I’m a very positive person, is that he said I hit penalties well.
Following the arrival of Fernandes, United’s form improved and he helped them seal a Champions League spot in the Premier League after being off the pace earlier in the 2019-20 campaign.
Last season United were awarded a record 14 penalties in the Premier League. Mourinho was on the receiving end of two penalty decisions when United drew 1-1 with Spurs.
The first saw Paul Pogba dragged back by Eric Dier before United were awarded a second penalty in injury time, although VAR overturned that decision.
It’s not the first time Mourinho has jibed at United’s penalty record. In July, when asked to compare United’s attack with Tottenham’s, the Spurs boss said: ‘United’s 13 penalties is a help. It’s a help!