Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s high-flying Red Devils were held to a goalless draw by Marcelo Bielsa’s side at Elland Road on Sunday.
Second-placed United virtually guaranteed a spot in next year’s Champions League with the draw, considering they’re 12 points ahead of fifth-placed West Ham with just five games remaining.
While the match was, perhaps, devoid of too much excitement, it did offer up and exciting match-up between Fernandes and Phillips in the middle of the park, one which Warnock believes the Englishman shone in.
And Warnock explained on Sky Sports’ coverage of the game that Phillips proved if Fernandes is prevented from getting the ball, United struggle to get any real rhythm going.
The former Liverpool defender described how Fernandes would react to losing the ball, and explained that United’s tempo and creativity immediately suffered as a result.
“I wonder if Bruno Fernandes has woke up this morning and Kalvin Phillips is in his bed, because he literally followed him everywhere,” Warnock said.
“It was ridiculous. Stop [Fernandes] playing and you stop Manchester United’s main supplier.
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“Early on in the game, he [Phillips] goes tight, he was in and around him straight away.
“He’s strong in the tackle and he’s aggressive. He’s such a powerful player.
“The one time Bruno Fernandes loses him, most players in that position would switch off and think ‘my centre-half is going to help me out’ – but it’s a great recovery run from Kalvin Phillips.
“He just didn’t give him a moment’s peace. The pair were joined at the hip throughout the whole game. It was an outstanding display from Kalvin Phillips.
“Again, it just shows why he’s so highly thought of by Marcelo Bielsa, by Gareth Southgate.
“He’s another one who’s pushing for a starting berth at the Euros for England as well.”