Manchester United vs Everton: Why did Bruno Fernandes offer the second penalty to Marcus Rashford?

The Red Devils were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City last weekend but they delivered an instant response at home against struggling Everton.

Manchester United midfielder Bruno Fernandes in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@premierleague
By Karthik Raman | Mar 13, 2024 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Manchester United got back to winning ways in the Premier League following last weekend’s derby disappointment. The Red Devils were beaten 3-1 by Manchester City last weekend but they delivered an instant response at home against struggling Everton on Saturday. The hosts needed two first-half penalties to settle the contest. First one was scored by Bruno Fernandes, while the second was converted by Marcus Rashford.

Bruno Fernandes on penalties

It is unusual to see two different penalty takers in the same contest but fortunately for Manchester United, both had converted their spot-kicks. After the Premier League game, captain Bruno Fernandes explained why he offered Rashford the second spot-kick against Everton. “Obviously, as I said many times, we have more than one penalty-taker and we have a list in the dressing room. Marcus [Rashford] is the second name as a penalty taker and I am more than confident whenever Marcus steps up to take a penalty,” he told MUTV.

He added: “I am more than confident that he can have the same effect as me. I did score the first one but I felt that with the second one, we should have changed because it then moves the mind a little bit of the goalkeeper. He has to move differently, he has to adapt to a different kind of penalty-taker, so I think it was the best decision for the team in order to help us get another goal. It was not because I wasn’t confident I would score, because I was, but because I spoke to Marcus and asked him if he wanted to take it. He said: ‘I would be happy to take one’, so I said ‘go ahead’.”

‘It’s more difficult for the opposition goalkeeper’

Later, manager Erik ten Hag also had his say on this topic, saying how difficult it can be for the goalkeeper when two different players take penalties. “They [Fernandes and Rashford] decided on the pitch, we have more very good penalty-takers in our squad. Bruno is one, Rashy is one, Casemiro is one, Christian Eriksen is one. So we have more. Also, even others. That’s very good when you have that in your squad and when you get, at such notice, two different penalty-takers, it’s more difficult for the opposition goalkeeper,” ten Hag said in his post-match press conference.

The manager was also pleased with the result and the performance against Everton. However, he also explained where his side could have done better. “The lads transferred the game plan very good by dropping Bruno [in], also by dropping Scott and get the runs in behind from Garnacho and from Rashford. We expected already that high press from Everton with their double-six [defensive midfielders] going up to our double-six. We created spaces in behind, I was pleased with that,” he explained.

He added: “From there, we scored the goals, or the penalties, from that way of play. We took benefit from our pressing, I was also pleased. [The way we] defended the box, I was also pleased. The only thing that could be better, I think sometimes we could have been more calm on the ball, playing more give-and-gos when they have the high press, you can’t go all the way all the time with long balls because you stretch the pitch and we don’t actually want that. But I think all over a good performance, a good result.”

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