Bruno Fernandes explains why he let Marcus Rashford have penalty 1 month ago

Bruno Fernandes explains why he let Marcus Rashford have penalty

Fernandes passed up the opportunity to complete a first-half hat-trick

Manchester United took another three points towards qualification to the Champions League knockout stages on Tuesday evening, with a Bruno Fernandes-inspired victory over Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford.

The Portugal international scored United's first two goals in their 4-1 victory against the Turkish club, and was presented with the opportunity to complete a first-half hat-trick when Marcus Rashford was brought down for a penalty.

Despite initially looking set to take the spot-kick, Fernandes changed his mind, allowing Rashford to take the set-piece after a brief exchange between the pair.

Speaking to BT Sport after full-time, Fernandes explained that he had told Rashford he would take the next penalty after the team's victory over West Brom on Saturday.

The former Sporting Lisbon man had scored from a retaken penalty in that game, giving United their first home win of the season in the Premier League.

"Of course, every player wants to score a hat-trick," Fernandes said. "But after the last game in the Premier League I told Rashy that he will take the next one.

"I remembered that, and also he is one of the top scorers in the Champions League and I think it will be important for him to keep going and taking that confidence.

"But as I say, It doesn't matter who takes the penalties. The team scores."

Despite the visitors pulling a goal back in the second half, United restored their three-goal advantage in stoppage time as Dan James was able to tap home a Mason Greenwood cross from close range.

The result leaves United needing a point from their remaining games against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig to guarantee progress.