Paul Pogba played alongside Bruno Fernandes for only the fourth time in his life on Tuesday night, as Manchester United ran out 3-0 winners over Brighton.

All eyes were on the duo once again, prompting questions: Will the midfielders work together? Has the Portuguese rejuvenated the Frenchman? Or has he merely paved the way for Pogba to finally leave Old Trafford?

Fernandes netted twice against Brighton, and was unsurprisingly the man the press wanted to speak to after the match.

But despite his goals, Fernandes again found himself discussing Pogba.

He said: “Paul is an amazing player but I don’t want to talk too much about me and Paul. It is not fair enough on the other team-mates.

“Of course Paul has such good qualities and is so much important for us and I think we can combine together.

“We have qualities and we can play together, but also we know we have some team-mates who can do very well when we are out.

“I think it’s not fair on the other guys if we talk just about me and Paul.

“There are so many good players here. Look at the work of Scotty [McTominay], Nemanja [Matic]… these guys have done so well. Then you have Juan [Mata] and Jesse [Lingard] all excellent players, great No. 10s.”

The reaction to Fernandes’ words about his relationship with Pogba have been interpreted negatively by some.

The Portuguese appears to dismiss the notion of a partnership and quickly pushes the attention away from the Frenchman and onto the likes of McTominay and Matic.

Or perhaps that his relationship with Pogba is no different to the one he shares with the other United stars. In other words, there is nothing special about it.

But when considering Fernandes’ reaction to his own performance, it may shed some light on what he is really saying about Pogba, and his relationship with him.

Fernandes said of himself: “I was lucky for the first goal but also the keeper was lucky for my first shot – the ball hit the post! So I think I am happy.

“It was amazing. But it was a good job from Paul. In the first goal, the ball came back for me, he knows I will be there to shoot. And the second goal was an amazing assist from Mason [Greenwood], an amazing pass, and I do a good shot.


“Of course I am really happy for my goals. But I’m happier for the result because the team deserves this. We are fighting for the place in the Champions League. We know we can achieve this.”

The Portuguese quickly plays down his own achievements, despite them being nothing short of mesmeric, and heaps praise on his team-mates.

He will know deep down that he has made a sensational impact at United, but he’s not resting on his laurels and revelling in his own stardom. He’s striving for more, and encouraging those around him, as they help him improve.

Considering this when reading back over his comments on Pogba, suggests something similar: Fernandes is well aware that he has forged a great partnership with Pogba, but he’s striving for more and encouraging those around him, as they’ll help the pair improve.

It seems the Portuguese doesn’t like to revel in the obvious observation.

He instead chooses to focus on the things that need to keep improving in order to turn Manchester United back into the title contenders they once were.

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