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Paul Scholes admitted Manchester United "couldn't create a chance" if it were not for Bruno Fernandes after the midfielder led his side to a 1-0 victory over West Brom.
Fernandes scored a second-half penalty as United picked up their first home Premier League win of the season against a spirited Baggies side.
The Portugal star has been the standout performer for the Red Devils since he arrived from Sporting Lisbon for an initial fee of £47million in January.
Fernandes is United's joint-top scorer with seven goals this season and he once again stepped up as his teammates struggled to break down West Brom.
Scholes questioned whether United could cope without Fernandes in the starting line-up
(Image: INTERNET PICTURE)
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The 26-year-old has also provided five assists across all competitions and Scholes believes he already has talismanic status at Old Trafford.
"It was an ugly win. Hopefully, that will give them a bit of confidence," United legend Scholes told BT Sport after the match.
"You do feel for West Brom. You do wonder where Man United would be without Fernandes. Before Bruno came in, United couldn’t create a chance."
Is Bruno Fernandes the most important player in Manchester United's squad? Have your say here.
Fernandes fired the Red Devils to victory from 12 yards
(Image: Alex Livesey/POOL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)
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Scholes' comments were echoed by his former United teammate and fellow pundit Rio Ferdinand, who added: "Everything comes through him (Fernandes).
"He’s a player who creates and takes on responsibility. It seems like he likes that."
Fernandes has established himself as a leader in the United dressing room and he urged his teammates to improve in coming matches.
"It’s really important to us winning this game because we need points in this league," he said in his post-match interview.
"We create a lot, but I think we can do much better."
Fernandes' penalty heroics were not without controversy, as he conceded a spot kick of his own just minutes earlier, though VAR overturned the decision.
He insisted he won the ball before making contact with Conor Gallagher, saying: "I feel in the first moment I touch the ball. What I feel is I first touched the ball and then the player."
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