Cristiano Ronaldo "didn't feel" like stepping up to take the penalty against Arsenal that Bruno Fernandes subsequently missed.
The Red Devils were beaten 3-1 by Mikel Arteta's rampant Arsenal side in the early kick-off at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners got off to the best possible start when half-hearted clearances from Raphael Varane and Alex Telles saw the ball fall to winger Bukayo Saka, who curled an effort towards goal. David De Gea got a hand to the ball, but could only parry it into the path of Nuno Tavares, who netted just minutes into the game.
A Saka penalty then doubled Arsenal's lead before Cristiano Ronaldo pulled one back for United. However, a superb strike from Granit Xhaka ensured all three points would stay in north London as Arsenal continue their push to the top four.
United had the chance to draw level just after half-time when referee Craig Pawson awarded a penalty, but fans were surprised when they saw who was stepping up to take it. Bruno Fernandes sent Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale the wrong way, but dragged his shot onto the post, as The Express reports.
With many fans left scratching their heads as to why Ronaldo – one of the best penalty takers around – didn't step up having already scored, Ralf Rangnick lifted the lid on the decision after the game. He said: "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."
But despite expressing his frustration at coming away without any points, Rangnick admitted he felt a response from his team having been 2-0 down in the first-half. "I think we showed a response, an improved performance compared to the game at Liverpool.
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"But still we gave away an easy goal, an early goal, far too easy, the way we defended in that moment, we had two or three chances to clear the ball. But we didn't and after being 1-0 down after four minutes in a game like this didn't make life easy for us.
"But I think the reaction we showed after that was good, we had numerous chances to score ourselves,- we hit the crossbar, we hit the post twice, apart from that we had enough chances to score three or four goals. And we were also pretty unlucky with the VAR decisions, there were three or four questionable VAR decisions after seeing the video footage in the locker room.
"But, again, it's about the result and the result was disappointing. Right now, our biggest problem was defending in and around the box. The last three games, on average, we conceded three goals and this is just too much."
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