Bruno Fernandes reveals why he let Rashford take the penalty
Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes has revealed the reason why he gave up the opportunity of scoring his maiden hat-trick in the Red Devils’ 4-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir in the Champions League.
Fernandes had opened the scoring with a stunning long-range effort in the seventh minute. The 26-year-old then doubled the lead from close range inside 20 minutes before handing the chance to complete his first Manchester United hat-trick to Marcus Rashford after the latter had won a penalty in the 34th minute.
Speaking after the game, Fernandes said: "Of course every player wants a hat-trick, but after the game in the Premier League I told Rashford that he could take the next one.
"I remembered that - and also because he's one of the top scorers in the Champions League, I thought it would be important for him there to take that confidence.
"It doesn't matter who takes the penalty as long as the team scores."
Interestingly, since the start of the 2019-20 season, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer-led United have been awarded 30 penalties in 75 matches.
Meanwhile, Solskjaer had no problems with Fernandes handing over the penalty to Rashford.
The United manager said: “Bruno is very confident, Marcus is a very good penalty-taker as well; if Bruno feels he wants to give it to Marcus, so be it. Anthony (Martial) had one against RB Leipzig so why not? They can share them around.”
Istanbul Basaksehir had stunned the three-time champions 2-1 at the Başakşehir Fatih Terim Stadium, in their previous encounter earlier in November. But with this crucial win, Manchester United are top of Group H and only need a point against PSG or Leipzig to qualify for the knockout stage.
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Oli Scarff