Bruno Fernandes or Cristiano Ronaldo… who should take penalties for Manchester United?
That was the debate on talkSPORT on Monday as Danny Murphy and Simon Jordan clashed over Fernandes’ crucial miss against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Fernandes has been United’s regular taker since his arrival in January 2020 and has a success rate from the spot of more than 95 per cent for club and country.
But needing to rescue a point in the last minute of the game against Villa at the weekend, Fernandes stepped up from 12 yards and blazed his effort into the Stretford end.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer leapt to Fernandes’ defence after the humbling home defeat and defended the decision to put the playmaker on penalties over his fellow countryman Ronaldo, one of the most deadly players in football history.
Danny Murphy understood the call from Solskjaer, but insists on the big occasions it should be Ronaldo stepping up from the spot.
The former Liverpool star said: “Fernandes’ record is great but if you’re asking me, Man United are playing Man City or Liverpool and in the last minute of the game and there’s a penalty, who would I want taking it? Ronaldo, all day, everyday and twice on Sundays.
“He [Fernandes] hasn’t taken penalties in the same cauldron as Ronaldo has all over his career.
“Ronaldo has scored penalties in World Cup finals, European Championships, Champions League finals.”
That view was disputed by Simon Jordan, though, as the talkSPORT co-host pointed out Fernandes has a better penalty record than Ronaldo and is right to have the trust of his manager.
“The success rate Ronaldo has in his career for penalties is 84%, while you got another guy [Fernandes] with a 96% penalty success rate,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is over a period of time, if you’ve got enough statistics you can make statistics to do whatever you want.
“If there’s a body of times to say ‘right, here’s a real proper analysis over his career, 84% Ronaldo, 96% Fernandes’ – done, finished, argument closed.”
There you have it: the argument is closed. Or so says Simon Jordan anyway.
You can watch the debate in full through our video player.