OGUN, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA) –Bruno Fernandes has explained why he let Marcus Rashford take the penalty for Manchester United in their 3-0 victory over Everton.
The England international attacker scored a career-high thirty goals with the Red Devils in the previous campaign, but he had only one goal when he arrived at Goodison Park in 2023–2024.
After Alejandro Garnacho’s amazing overhead kick to start the game, a VAR review gave United a chance to score their second goal of the match from 12 yards out. Fernandes, the club captain, stepped aside to allow him to double that total.
Questioned about why he gave the ball to Rashford, Portuguese playmaker Fernandes, the Red Devils’ go-to penalty-taking option, told Sky Sports: “Because I felt that Marcus needed a bit of confidence, needed goals.
“Marcus is an excellent penalty-taker too. I’m 100 per cent sure that he could score the penalty. It’s not about who takes it, it’s about scoring the penalty and Marcus did it perfectly.”
Rashford has faced plenty of uncomfortable questions this season, on the back of signing a lucrative new contract at Old Trafford, but Fernandes says none of the 26-year-old’s teammates has ever doubted his quality.
When asked if he believes Rashford’s form had dipped, he said: “Obviously strikers, wingers, they want to score goals, they need to score goals, that’s part of their game and it gives you a boost. After the penalty, Marcus was unstoppable – he could take on everyone.
“I think sometimes you need this chance, this opportunity to get confidence back. But Marcus has been great for us.
“Obviously last season he was amazing, so everyone’s expectations for this season were higher. It’s just about getting his goals back and everyone will stay say that he is world-class again.”
United boss Erik ten Hag added to BBC Match of the Day when asked how much Rashford needed his goal: “A lot. You see also how great captain Bruno is. He assessed his team-mate needed that goal. He has the confidence in Rashy, who is a good penalty taker. As a team you need that leadership that you back each other. We have to go step by step. This is one step.”