Jonny Evans was ‘outstanding’ in Man United’s win at Burnley, says Rio Ferdinand as the defender calls it ‘the best night of my life’ – and Bruno Fernandes gives him his man of the match prize!

  • Jonny Evans was handed his first Man United start in eight years against Burnley 
  • Evans enjoyed a superb performance on his 200th appearance for the club 
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Unlikely hero Jonny Evans hailed it as the ‘best night of his life’ as he returned to the Manchester United starting line-up after eight years to claim a clean sheet and assist in Saturday night’s 1-0 at Burnley.

Evans, 35, spent the peak years of his career at West Brom and Leicester before surprisingly being given a new contract at Old Trafford in the summer.

Facing an injury crisis, Erik ten Hag turned to the experienced Ulsterman and he didn’t disappoint with a man-of-the-match performance on his 200th United appearance that saw his header disallowed before he set up Bruno Fernandes for a stunning volleyed winner.

‘I loved every minute of it,’ said Evans, whose name was chanted by the travelling fans after the game.

‘Coming up here on the bus I was buzzing. That was my 200th game for Man United. I never thought I would ever reach that figure – it’s the best night of my life.

Jonny Evans hailed the ‘best night of his life’ after returning to Man United’s starting line-up

Evans provided the assist for Bruno Fernandes goal as Man United secured a vital victory

Evans provided the assist for Bruno Fernandes goal as Man United secured a vital victory 

‘When you get to a certain age you start to wind down your career. I got the call from United and didn’t have another option, so I just took it and tried to do my best in training and take my chance.

‘I was told my role would be to provide competition and that is how I have approached it. With a few injuries I then had the chance to start tonight.’

On his wonder goal, captain Fernandes modestly praised Evans for the assist.

‘It was a great pass from Jonny. I know he has great qualities playing the ball in behind with both feet,’ said the match-winner.

‘I was waiting for it [the pass]. Burnley give space behind but it was tough to get that at times and we took the chance when it was there.’

With so many knives out for United, Erik ten Hag seems to be thriving on playing the siege mentality card.

‘It was a must-win and the team responded. You could see the togetherness in the dressing-room. At United, you have to realise you are expected to win every game. Even away to Bayern Munich, you get criticism if you don’t,’ Ten Hag said.

‘It was a massive goal because we have problems. In this moment a lot is against us, injuries, decisions.’

In the circumstances, the return of Evans – a relic from the Sir Alex Ferguson past – is hugely comforting for the manager.

Man United boss Erik ten Hag praised the togetherness of his side and Evans' performance

Man United boss Erik ten Hag praised the togetherness of his side and Evans’ performance

‘We are happy to have a player like Jonny in the squad. His character is calm so even when you have things going against you, you can bounce back,’ Ten Had added.

‘This is only one win but what we have out there is togetherness. There is a real good spirit in the dressing-room.

‘The timing of the press from Rasmus Hojlund was very good. Sergio Reguilon was ill but wanted to play. That shows the spirit. When 11 players run at the right times, Manchester United is a very difficult team to play against.’  

Rio Ferdinand hailed his former team-mate Evans’ performance as ‘outstanding’ in the win.

Ferdinand, who played alongside Evans at Man United, praised his overall display as he helped secure the narrow victory.

‘I thought Johnny Evans was outstanding at the back, marshalled his back line very well, showing his leadership skills, his experience,’ Ferdinand said on TNT Sports.

‘He played a part in the goal, and a captain’s moment from Bruno Fernandes. That’s got them over the line today. 

‘It’s a huge result for Manchester United. The narrative has been very negative of late, and you need to stop that. The three points does a good job of starting to turn the tide.’


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Source From: Football | Mail Online

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