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Bruno Fernandes Shines as Sporting Draw Liverpool in Preseason Friendly

Megan ArmstrongCorrespondent IIIJuly 25, 2019

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 24: Bruno Fernandes of Sporting CP during the Pre-Season Friendly match between Sporting CP and Liverpool at Yankee Stadium on July 24, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Well, this may add fuel to those Bruno Fernandes-Manchester United transfer rumors.

The 24-year-old Sporting CP midfielder was involved in both of his club's goals during Wednesday night's 2-2 friendly draw with Liverpool at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York.

To start, Fernandes drilled a goal from beyond the box to take an early lead in the fourth minute. Fernandes' shot was met by Simon Mignolet's gloves, but the Liverpool goalkeeper misjudged the ball's dip and allowed it to bounce into the net.

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

VVD couldn't believe it 😬 https://t.co/XJo73fm0FU

He again made an impact by assisting Wendel in the 53rd minute to tie the game at 2-2 and salvage the draw for Sporting.

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Class from Sporting CP 🔥 https://t.co/Bo0pq8wX55

Ahead of this match, on Tuesday, Fernandes commented on his rumored connection to Manchester United (h/t the Independent).

"Will this be the last match for Sporting? I don't know," Fernandes told A Bola. "It's the coach who decides. I told I'd like to play in England, but I don't care about it right now."

Fernandes certainly showed his ability to hang at the Premier League level Wednesday night. Following the game, he was seen with Liverpool head coach Jurgen Klopp—creating fodder for Reds faithful even though the club hasn't been formally linked to getting in on his transfer.

However, the game was made competitive outside of Fernandes in the first half. The first equalizer was courtesy of Divock Origi, who followed up the rebound on a saved Jordan Henderson header in the 20th minute to bring Liverpool level at 1-1. It marked Origi's second goal in as many matches for Liverpool.

Origi's equalizer also seemed at the time to provide a momentum shift, as the Reds took a 2-1 lead just before halftime in the 44th minute. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arched a through ball to a freely running Georginio Wijnaldum, whose shot was deflected in for a goal.

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

Origi is lethal in the 6 🔥 @LFCUSA levels it ➡️ https://t.co/BAiLSqolQU https://t.co/9PbTCMIvDx

As it would turn out, though, perhaps the biggest moment from Liverpool in the second half came when 17-year-old Sepp van den Berg made his debut with the club by subbing on for Joel Matip in the 89th minute.

Bleacher Report Live @brlive

.@LFCUSA fans cheering for the debuting Sepp van den Berg's every touch 🤣 https://t.co/RMwcovjdN2

So would end Liverpool's United States preseason tour with Liverpool and Sporting CP sharing the Western Union Cup.

The Reds had previously lost to Borussia Dortmund and Sevilla FC stateside, while Sporting CP hadn't played since May.

Sporting CP will start Portuguese Liga play Aug. 11 against Maritimo, while Liverpool has two more July friendlies as well as the English FA Community Shield match against Manchester City standing between it and the 2019-20 Premier League season.

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