Manchester United's season ended with a whimper on Wednesday night as they lost out 11-10 on penalties to Villarreal in the Europa League final. Captain Bruno Fernandes was pictured in tears at full-time, but footage has emerged that shows the midfielder berating the referee in the tunnel at half-time.
Man United's first half performance was pretty passive and, though they had most of the ball, they paid the prices for their inability to break through the Villarreal defence, with the Spaniards going in at the break 1-0 up.
Fernandes captained United on the night, in the absence of club captain Harry Maguire through injury. The Portuguese playmaker has been in stellar form all season, but didn't have his best game on Wednesday night, and the frustrations were clear to see in new footage that has emerged from half-time in Gdánsk.
The United skipper is seen in heated conversation with the referee, protesting about Villarreal defender Juan Foyth's supposed play-acting and time-wasting, as well as the elongated VAR delays.
The number 8 goes twice - just for the nose, down. One time he stays down one minute. After again and after the goal. You wait one time for VAR for...3 minutes?
Fernandes' complaints fell on deaf ears, as the referee appears not to respond in the video, before his teammate Fred rallies the Man United troops to head back out for the second half.
The nature of Fernandes' complaints will also amuse some rival fans, as he himself was guilty of a shocking dive later in the game, which earned his team a free-kick.
If I speak... pic.twitter.com/lPuFwRSUGg
— ospurjosh (@thfc_josh_) May 26, 2021
Fernandes has also gained quite the reputation for his vocality on the pitch, consistently giving off at referees and sometimes even teammates if decisions or passes don't go the right way for United.
Wednesday was a surprisingly downbeat ending to a season heralded by United fans as showing progress, and Fernandes' complaints at half-time to the referee show the immense frustration that the players were feeling during the Europa League final.