“I told Rashy that he would take the next one.”
Bruno Fernandes has explained why he allowed Marcus Rashford to take a penalty for Manchester United against Istanbul Basaksehir.
Man United recorded a 4-1 victory over the Turkish side in the Champions League group stage tie on Tuesday night. Fernandes, who scored twice in the opening 20 minutes of the game, looked set to complete his hat-trick before half time when the Red Devils won a penalty.
The Portuguese midfielder, however, handed the ball to Rashford to take the penalty instead.
Fernandes on why he let Rashford take the penalty for Man United.
Fernandes is Man United’s designated penalty-take and he has an excellent record from the penalty spot.
Yet, he explained following the match at Old Trafford that he wanted Rashford to take the spot-kick so the England striker could stay in the race for the Champions League golden boot.
Rashford, thanks to the penalty he scored against Istanbul, now has five goals in the tournament this season, one behind Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Braut Haaland.
“Every player wants to score a hat-trick,” Fernandes said after the game.
“But after the last Premier League game, I told Rashy that he would take the next one and I remembered that Rashy is one of the top scorers in the Champions League.
“So, I think it will be important for him to keep going and take that confidence.
“It doesn’t matter who takes the penalties. The most important thing is scoring. The team scores so when the team scores, I score too.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are top of their Champions League group with two fixtures to play – against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig.
One more point from their remaining two games will see them reach the knockout stages of the tournament.
Next up for Man United is a trip to Southampton in the Premier League on Sunday.