Football

Bruno Fernandes: I told Marcus Rashford he would take the next penalty

Manchester United's regular spot-kick taker Bruno Fernandes said the decision to allow Marcus Rashford to take a penalty in yesterday morning's (Singapore time) Champions League Group H 4-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir was not a spur of the moment decision.

The Portuguese midfielder was on a hat-trick when United were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute at Old Trafford, but he handed the ball to Rashford, who duly converted.

Substitute Daniel James scored United's fourth in added time after Basaksehir's Deniz Turuc had pulled one back via a free-kick.

Fernandes has scored 12 of his 13 spot-kicks for United, but against Paris Saint-Germain and West Bromwich Albion this season, he has missed from 12 yards before being given a reprieve by match officials after the goalkeepers were adjudged to have vacated their line. He scored both retaken penalties.

Explaining why he passed on penalty duties to Rashford, the 26-year-old told BT Sport: "Of course, every player wants a hat-trick.

"But after the game in the Premier League (against West Brom) I told Rashford that he could take the next one so I remembered that and also he's one of the top scorers in the Champions League. So it's important for him to get the confidence.

"It doesn't matter who takes the penalty as long as the team scores."

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer added: "Marcus is a very good penalty-taker as well.If Bruno feels he wants to give it to him then he can do.

"Anthony (Martial) scored one against Leipzig, so why not? They can share them."

However ex-United midfielder Paul Scholes said on BT Sport: "I don't get it. Fernandes has taken all the penalties when he's played. He's on the chance of a hat-trick on a European night, I don't understand it."

Ex-Blackburn Rovers striker Chris Sutton called the situation "odd", suggesting that it would not have occurred during Sir Alex Ferguson's Old Trafford tenure.

Football