Why Cristiano Ronaldo did not take Man United’s penalty vs Arsenal

Why Cristiano Ronaldo did not take Man United's penalty vs Arsenal

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has provided an insight into the decision to allow Bruno Fernandes, rather than Cristiano Ronaldo, to take charge of the club’s 2nd-half spot-kick versus Arsenal.

The Red Devils, of course, made the trip to the Emirates earlier today, for a crunch clash amid the top-four battle in the Premier League.

And, whilst trailing by two goals to one just shy of the hour mark, the afternoon’s visitors were afforded a golden opportunity to level things up when Nuno Tavares needlessly handed the ball in the Arsenal penalty area.

Referee Craig Pawson, in turn, showed little hesitation in pointing to the spot.

To the collective surprise of those watching on, however, upon the chaos settling and the ball being placed on the penalty spot, it was Bruno Fernandes who stepped up to take responsibility, rather than compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.

Fernandes, in the midst of another disappointing display, subsequently went on to fluff his lines, in the process handing the initiative back to Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal:

Speaking to the media on the back of the final whistle bringing a close to proceedings in north London, it therefore came as little surprise when Ralf Rangnick was drawn on his side’s costly spot-kick miss.

And the German went on to reveal that, in fact, it was Cristiano Ronaldo himself who opted to turn down the chance to level things up from twelve yards:

“I spoke with him after the game and asked him. And he said he just didn’t feel he should take it and that’s why he said it would be better if Bruno took it.”

CR7 not enough

Ronaldo’s surprising call to hand United’s latest penalty to Fernandes of course comes with the Portuguese unlikely to be in the best headspace at present.

This comes owing to the tragic news being revealed during the week that the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner’s newborn son had passed away after birth.

Ronaldo’s remarkable mental fortitude, though, was nevertheless on full display across the rest of the 90 minutes at the Emirates, as the iconic attacker notched his side’s only goal of the day, amid a fine all-round performance:

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