Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has heaped praise on Bruno Fernandes after the Portuguese maestro proved the match winner as Manchester United saw off Copenhagen to advance to the Europa League semi-finals.
United were made to work hard for their 1-0 victory on Monday, with the Danes forcing them to find a winner in extra time after a stoic defensive performance in Cologne, Germany.
But they managed to break the deadlock after 95 minutes when Fernandes stepped up to convert a spot-kick after Anthony Martial was brought down in the penalty area during a threatening attack.
Bruno Fernandes is automatic from the penalty spot 💰
He mixed up his technique and still converted…
Not missed a pen in four seasons 😮#Club2020 pic.twitter.com/TRYgJyoN2O
His strike was his 11th goal for United since joining from Sporting Lisbon in January, in what has proven to be an inspired move for the Old Trafford club.
Fernandes has become United’s designated penalty taker, but decided to steer clear of his tried and tested ‘jump’ run-up for the spot-kick on Monday – instead driving the ball into the bottom corner without hesitation.
BT Sport pundit Robbie Savage had noted that from the Portuguese: ‘There was no jump there. The keeper was waiting for that jump. He just ran up to the ball, no jump, smashes it. Different technique, same result. 1-0 United,’ he said.
“Their keeper was fantastic, actually, incredible.”
“Bruno has penalties sorted, better than I was anyway!”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reacts after Man Utd booked their spot in the Europa League semi-finals.
🎙 @ReshminTV pic.twitter.com/EUXS6n57Ur
And United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said that his star man has the ability to switch up different types of penalties to confuse goalkeepers.
‘He knows that keepers will wait for him to do the jump,’ the United manager said. ‘He practices both of them and he practices both sides so he’s got them sorted. Better than I was anyway!’
United advance to Sunday’s semi-final where they will meet either Wolves or Sevilla, with the pair playing their quarter=final on Tuesday in Duisburg.
The Red Devils beat Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in the FA Cup earlier this season, and should the west Midlands club get past the Spaniards, it will be the fifth time the two clubs have met this season – they have drawn on the three other occasions.