Sat. Jan 16th, 2021

Man Utd


Berbatov explains why Fernandes gesture shows he could be Man Utd captain

3 min read

Dimitar Berbatov has hailed Bruno Fernandes as a Manchester United leader after his decision to let Marcus Rashford take a penalty against Istanbul Basaksehir.

The United midfielder was on a hat-trick having put his side 2-0 up early on when Rashford went down in the box.

Yet Fernandes, the Reds’ usual penalty taker, turned down the opportunity to add a third goal and instead let Rashford score from the spot.

Speaking to Betfair, Berbatov said it was a captain’s move from Fernandes and would have boosted his standing in the Old Trafford dressing room.

He said: “Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir showed that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team can produce good football.

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“Their motivation and concentration levels were high throughout the match and they deserved the win. They needed to perform like that after their previous match in the competition when they underestimated and lost against Basaksehir.

“It was a great gesture when Bruno Fernandes, who was on a hat-trick, gave Marcus Rashford the penalty.

“It was a captain’s move, it shows leadership quality and that he’s a guy who will always support his team-mates. In the dressing room after the game, I’m sure that his stock rose even more.”

He added: “If Fernandes was a striker, it would have been a different story.

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Manchester United returned to winning ways in the Champions League with a 4-1 victory over Istanbul Basaksehir at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes’ brace set Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side on course for a third successive win, with Marcus Rashford and Daniel James also on the scoresheet.

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“If Rashford was on two goals, I doubt he would have given Fernandes the penalty and there’s nothing bad in that because when you are a striker your job is to score goals.

“You want your strikers to score as many possible and you want them to be confident.

“I would have kept the penalty for myself. When you are a striker, you already have two goals and you a penalty, and who doesn’t want a hat-trick in a game?

“The opening goal in the win, that Bruno scored from outside the box, was amazing. Let me tell you, that technique is so difficult to do. I was never a big specialist at scoring from outside the box.

“Fernandes’ strike was Scholesesque, that was his specialty, you could imagine Paul Scholes scoring that one, when the ball comes across to him, bam and into the top corner. It was perfect execution.”

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