On Tuesday night Bruno Fernandes gave Marcus Rashford the opportunity to take a penalty in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Istanbul Basaksehir.
Having opened Group H in the UEFA Champions League with victories against Paris Saint-Germain and RB Leipzig, defeat to the Turkish champions at the start of November threatened to derail our Champions League campaign, but it was time to take revenge and take three points on our own turf.
United did that thanks to goals from Fernandes (x2), Rashford and Daniel James. It was a shame to throw away a clean sheet but we couldn’t complain once goal-line technology intervened.
Fernandes is United’s regular penalty taker but he allowed Rashford to take the spot-kick on Tuesday evening.
In an attempt to truly benefit other members of the team, it’s clear that an unselfish Fernandes would prefer to have all of United’s attackers scoring as seen against Everton in the Premier League when he assisted Edinson Cavani to score his first goal in a red shirt.
Speaking exclusively to Stretty News, Rashford explains that more scorers getting on the scoresheet will only help players and their confidence.
“There was a similar situation during the Leipzig game when I could have got my first career hat-trick,” the Manchester United star said. “As a striker your confidence comes from scoring goals consistently and for that reason it was important Tony [Martial] had the opportunity to get on the scoresheet. Thankfully I got the hat-trick and we got a fantastic result against a very tough team but what was important at the time was that the team felt good, confident and motivated to push on with the upcoming run of fixtures. It’s a really busy time and we all play a role in the team’s success.”
Rashford took his penalty very well against Istanbul and proved that United can rely on more players than just Fernandes when it comes to spot-kicks.
United’s season has been full of ups and downs but things are starting to get better with United on a three game win streak across all competitions.
Rashford has urged his team-mates to show more consistency because he believes the possibilities are endless with the current team, saying: “Champions League nights have been the highlight of the season so far. It’s so great to be back in the competition. We have turned up in those fixtures ready to fight and show what we can do, playing and scoring goals of the highest quality. If we can achieve that game in game out the possibilities are endless. It’s all about consistency.”
Next up in the Champions League is PSG at Old Trafford. A draw next Wednesday would be enough to secure a place for United in the knockout stages of the competition.