CAPE TOWN – Rio Ferdinand has praised Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes for his calmness in slotting the winning penalty in their Premier League clash against Brighton & Hove Albion.
With the scores tied at 2-2 and the final whistle having blown, the referee decided to consult VAR on whether Neal Maupay had handled the ball in the box.
The referee pointed to the spot after it was shown that Maupay had indeed got his hand on the ball, giving United a chance to win a game they thought had slippe through their fingers after Brighton had levelle matters deep into stoppage time.
Fernandes stepped up, sent the goalkeeper the wrong way, and put the ball in the back of the net, earning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men their first win of the new Premier League season.
“The man is ice-cold in these situations,” former United defender Ferdinand said on BT Sport after the game.
“His run-up, he’s changed it a little bit there – that hop-skip-and-jump kind of thing he usually does wasn’t there.
“The pressure was on and he calmed himself down and went back to basics.”
Ferdinand continued: “In the end it was the right decision but what I prefer now from last season is that the referee gets the chance to take ownership of that decision.
“He gets the chance to walk over to the actual screen, have a look at it himself, he’s not leaving the responsibility to someone we can’t see. The players know he’s made the decision.”
Joe Cole, who was also a pundit on BT Sport also praised the Portuguese midfielder’s calmness.
“We had a great view of it from here. When the melee was going on, he was the coolest man, Bruno.”