PREMIER LEAGUE

Premier League: Bruno Fernandes named December Player of the Month

Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes has scooped a second straight Premier League Player of the Month award, matching Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes' haul of four.

Bruno Fernandes matches Cristiano Ronaldo with latest Premier League award

Bruno Fernandes has been named Premier League Player of the Month for the fourth time in his first year at Manchester United.

Fernandes level with Ronaldo and Scholes, one off Rooney

Fernandes was confirmed as the winner of December's award on Friday, following up his success in November.

His fourth overall Player of the Month award means he is already level with United greats Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Scholes, while just one behind Wayne Rooney's career tally.

Fernandes has closed to within three of the overall record held by Manchester City striker Sergio Agüero, who has won seven.

Manchester United star scored three goals and supplied four assists in Premier League in December

The Portugal international is the first player to win the award four times in a calendar year.

He scored twice and added an assist in the 6-2 win against Leeds United while he also netted and set up a goal in the 2-2 draw at Leicester City on Boxing Day.

Fernandes additionally assisted key goals for Paul Pogba (against West Ham) and Marcus Rashford (against Wolves) over the course of the month.

The 26-year-old said: "Three goals and four assists was a complete month.

"Scoring and assisting your team-mates is perfect. I want to achieve other trophies and awards but I'm really happy to make history.

"It is a long way before we can start talking about being [Premier League] champions. We have to keep working. 

"We play against one of the best teams in England [Liverpool on Sunday] and we know what it means to the fans. But the main point is the same: three points."

Fernandes' team-mate Rashford was also on the shortlist along with Anwar El Ghazi, Emiliano Martínez, Ben Mee, Mohamed Salah, Tomas Soucek and John Stones.

Villa boss Smith scoops Premier League Manager of the Month award

Aston Villa boss Dean Smith was named Manager of the Month.

His side are just 10 points behind leaders United with two games in hand, having secured wins over Wolves, West Brom and Crystal Palace in December, conceding just once in five games.

Carlo Ancelotti, Sean Dyche and United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer were the other nominees.