• Man Utd defeated Arsenal 3-2 in the league Thursday
  • Ronaldo scored the winning goal
  • He now has 801 career goals to his name

Bruno Fernandes has explained why he let Cristiano Ronaldo take the penalty in Manchester United's 3-2 win against Arsenal on Thursday.

Arsenal's 21-year-old midfielder Emile Smith Rowe opened the scoring at Old Trafford before Fernandes netted an equalizer for Manchester United. Just after the half-time break, Ronaldo put the Red Devils 2-1 up with a trademark goal.

However, two minutes later, attacking midfielder Martin Odegaard canceled Manchester United's lead by scoring a 54th-minute equalizer.

A foul from Odegaard on Red Devils midfielder Fred was reviewed by referee Martin Atkinson on a pitchside monitor before handing the home side a penalty, which was scored by Ronaldo.

In a post-match interview, Fernandes said he was happy to give the penalty to his countryman after missing his previous effort in Manchester United's 1-0 loss to Aston Villa in September.

"We didn't have a chat. I missed the last one so I trust him in the same way I trust myself. It was time for Cristiano to take the penalty because I took the last one and missed it. It doesn't matter who gets on the penalty," Fernandes told BBC Sport after the game.

801 not out: Cristiano Ronaldo took his career tally for club and country to 801 with a double against Arsenal
801 not out: Cristiano Ronaldo took his career tally for club and country to 801 with a double against Arsenal AFP / Oli SCARFF

The successful penalty took Ronaldo's tally of career goals to 801, making him the first-ever soccer player to score 800 or more goals.

Ronaldo, who returned to Old Trafford for a second spell this season, now has netted 12 goals and two assists in 17 matches in the 2021-22 campaign.

"What can you say about that? It's incredible. He's [Ronaldo] proving game by game, year by year, season by season, that he wants to keep being the best, he wants to be the best and that's what he did. He doesn't need anyone to motivate him, he knows how to do it and how to carry on scoring goals," Fernandes said in an interview with Amazon Prime, Man Utd's official website showed.

Meanwhile, the match against Arsenal on Thursday was Fernandes' 100th appearance for Manchester United since joining the club in January 2020. Fernandes hardly took any time to seal a place for himself in the Red Devils' squad, as he has netted 45 goals and 38 assists so far.

Manchester United will next host Crystal Palace in the 2021-22 Premier League on Sunday.