Bruno Fernandes answered his critics in the Manchester derby with a goal from the spot-kick but said his celebration was not a dig at his detractors but a message to his family.
The Portuguese midfielder has enjoyed a spectacular season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side, but has faced criticism for failing to make impact against top sides.
Before Sunday’s trip to the Etihad, Fernandes’ only goal against the ‘Big Six’ had come from the penalty spot in the 6-1 defeat against Tottenham earlier this campaign.
Fernandes defended his record in an interview which drew ire from Roy Keane just before the match with the former United skipper branding the midfielder ‘a baby’.
But, the former Sporting Lisbon player got his side off to the best possible start on Sunday, converting another penalty kick after Gabriel Jesus brought down Anthony Martial inside the first two minutes.
After converting the penalty from 12 yards, Fernandes wheeled away in celebration sucking his thumb, before he placed his hands over his ears.
Asked aftwerwards to clarify the meaning of his celebration, Fernandes told Sky Sports: ‘It’s for my kids. Most people know my kids are the best of my life.
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‘Every time I score it is for both of them and of course also for my wife for supporting me in this difficult period.
‘I know everyone thinks it’s a bit more easy to play training play but sometimes it’s tough and for the support they give me in this difficult period is for them.’
‘Scoring in the first minute was perfect, we had more space to counter. We remained focused until the end of the game,’ Fernandes added. ‘When we defend well we know we’ll have chances to score.
‘It’s always difficult to play against Manchester City. They are difficult on the ball and tough to play against. Today we did almost everything perfect. It’s not about winning against City, it’s about winning every game.’