Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

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Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole heap praise on Bruno Fernandes for keeping composure for winning penalty

2 min read

Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole lauded Bruno Fernandes‘ composure after the midfielder’s winning penalty in Manchester United‘s dramatic victory at Brighton.

The Portuguese midfielder netted in the 100th minute of the match for his 13th goal for the club after Neal Maupay’s handball following Harry Maguire’s header handed United a last-gasp spot kick.

The penalty was awarded only after referee Chris Kavanagh – who had blown the final whistle before the appeal was looked at by VAR – had consulted the pitchside monitor, leaving Fernandes with a long wait before the pressure moment.

Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole lauded Bruno Fernandes' composure after his winning penalty

Rio Ferdinand and Joe Cole lauded Bruno Fernandes’ composure after his winning penalty

Man United were awarded a penalty after Neal Maupay's handball from Harry Maguire's header

Man United were awarded a penalty after Neal Maupay’s handball from Harry Maguire’s header

But former England internationals Cole and Ferdinand praised the 26-year-old January signing for the way he handled the situation.

‘This man is ice cold in these situations,’ Ferdinand told BT Sport.

‘He changed his runup a little bit there from his usual hop, skip and jump thing. The pressure was on but he calmed himself down and went back to basics.’

Cole was also in awe of Fernandes’ ability to remain calm but was interested to see how decisions and the pressure changes in those situations when fans return to stadiums. 

But Fernandes was forced to wait as Chris Kavanagh checked the handball on the monitor

But Fernandes was forced to wait as Chris Kavanagh checked the handball on the monitor

However Fernandes converted, leaving Ferdinand and Cole to praise his calmness late on

However Fernandes converted, leaving Ferdinand and Cole to praise his calmness late on

‘We could see that while all the melee was going on, Bruno was the coolest man in this building. It was a great penalty,’ Cole said.

‘It will be interesting to see how much it will change when fans are back with these decisions. 

‘Full credit to Brighton as we were waxing lyrical about their system. They deserved at least a point.’ 

The penalty was Fernandes' 13th goal for the club since his arrival at Old Trafford in January

The penalty was Fernandes’ 13th goal for the club since his arrival at Old Trafford in January

The penalty handed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men their first win of the Premier League season.

Fernandes had conceded a penalty which Maupay put away but United bounced back through a Lewis Dunk own goal and a stunning Marcus Rashford solo effort.

Solly March thought he had rescued a point in the final minute of stoppage time with a header at the back post, only for Graham Potter’s men to be left heartbroken by Fernandes’ late penalty. 

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