Why did Bruno not take the penalty?
Bruno Fernandes has revealed why he passed up the chance to score his first Manchester United hat-trick, during the 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir in the UEFA Champions League.
Our Portuguese magnifico scored his 20th goal for the Reds - hitting the mark faster than any other midfielder - netting twice in a thrilling opening half-an-hour to put Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side 2-0 up.
When Marcus Rashford was brought down by Boli Bolingoli and a spot-kick was awarded, many would have expected Bruno to step up and take it, just as he did against West Brom at the weekend – and in countless other situations in a United shirt.
Instead, the 26-year-old let Rashford assume the penalty-taking duties, and our no.10 tucked it away.
Speaking after the game, to BT Sport and MUTV, Fernandes explained that he’d made a promise to Marcus at the weekend and that it was the team’s statistics that meant most to him, not his own.
“Of course, every player wants to score a hat-trick, you know?” said Fernandes.
“But after the game [against West Brom] in the Premier League I told Rashy he will take the next one. I remembered that.
“Also Rashy is one of the top scorers in the Champions League [this season, with five] so I think it will be important for him to keep going there and taking that confidence.
“As I say, it doesn’t matter who takes the penalties, the most important [thing] is scoring. When the team scores, I score too.”
The win over the Turkish champions, coupled with PSG’s narrow victory against RB Leipzig in Paris, leaves United top of Group H and needing just a point from our last two games to make sure of qualification.
Fernandes isn’t targeting draws though – he’s keen for United to get the job done in style, after Sunday’s Premier League fixture at Southampton is out of the way.
“We have two games and we have six points to win,” Bruno added. “It doesn’t matter if we need another win or something.
“We need to go to both games thinking we can win both.
“Now it’s time to focus on the Premier League. We have a tough opponent, who are doing well so we need to do things well and do a good job in terms of recovery so we can go again on Sunday.”