Ralf explains Fernandes penalty call

Saturday 23 April 2022 16:02

Ralf Rangnick has explained why Bruno Fernandes and not Cristiano Ronaldo took Manchester United’s penalty during the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal in north London.

The Reds were trailing 2-1 – with the second goal coming from a Bukayo Saka spot-kick – when referee Craig Pawson penalised Nuno Tavares for handball.

After a delay of a couple of minutes which allowed the Video Assistant Referee Jarred Gillett to take a look at the incident, the decision stood.

It was Fernandes who came forward with the ball and although our no.18 sent Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way, unfortunately his shot clipped the outside of the post and went behind.

Report: Arsenal 3 United 1


Despite dominating for spells, United fall to a costly defeat in north London.

Granit Xhaka’s long-range goal later secured the three points for the home side, who are now in the box-seat in terms of Champions League qualification.

Bruno was our regular penalty-taker in each of his first two seasons with the club, but Ronaldo has taken each of United’s last three spot-kicks since his compatriot missed the target against Aston Villa in September.

The 37-year-old netted against Arsenal and Norwich prior to Christmas, but failed to find the target when stepping up from 12 yards in February’s Emirates FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough.

Rangnick confirmed after the game that Ronaldo had allowed Bruno to take the penalty.

“I spoke with him [Ronaldo] after the game and asked him and he said he didn’t feel as if he should take it,” Ralf told reporters at his post-match press conference.

“That’s why he said it would be better if Bruno took it.”

Earlier, Ronaldo struck his 100th Premier League goal to halve the deficit at the Emirates Stadium and he was unlucky not to equalise when his effort was chalked off for a marginal offside.