Robin van Persie on Manchester United's Penalty Record & Bruno Fernandes' Style

Bruno Fernandes
Bruno Fernandes has been perfect from the spot so far | James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images

Former Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has defended the club's penalty record this season, insisting they're simply being rewarded for playing more attacking football.

Bruno Fernandes scored the winning goal from the spot in the Europa League quarter-final on Monday night against FC Copenhagen - remarkably, their 21st spot-kick of the season - to send them into the last four of the competition. They meet Sevilla on Sunday night, and would face either Inter or Shakhtar Donetsk in the final should they progress.

Success in the Europa League would mean a good season overall for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side, who have reached two other cup semi-finals and finished third in the Premier League.

Robin van Persie is an ambassador for Enterprise and the Europa LeagueEnterprise & UEFA Europa League
Robin van Persie is an ambassador for Enterprise and the Europa LeagueEnterprise & UEFA Europa League | Enterprise & UEFA Europa League

"If you get 21 penalties in a season, it shows you that you're attacking a lot, you know?" Van Persie, an ambassador for Enterprise Rent-A-Car and the UEFA Europa League, told 90min.

"Maybe a couple of them could or could not be a penalty, maybe a little bit tricky, but even then you're attacking and in a situation where the referee can give a penalty. I think it's a good thing that they're getting so many."

United's record with penalties had been patchy prior to the arrival of Fernandes in January, with the likes of Anthony Martial, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford each missing at least one at some point earlier in the season. But while Bruno's style of kick is unorthodox, Van Persie was full of praise for the Portuguese.

"Bruno Fernandes has his very own unique style of taking them, but what I like is that he mixes it up," he added.

"He's not only doing that funny looks so strange to me because it's not the way I used to take penalties, but he's been doing it for so long. He hasn't missed for four years.

"What I did like against FC Copenhagen is he changed his style - the keeper waited and he went fast. That shows you as well that he's a world-class penalty taker, because you have to mix it up. You have to go left, you have to go right, he's doing the jump, but to be able to adjust, even with penalties, it shows you that he's a world-class player.

"You have to come up with something new and he's doing that, and it's working. As long as it works, perfect."

Van Persie himself was deadly from the spot in his playing career, and his advice for other players was to just take control of the situation and practice.

Van Persie was excellent from 12 yards out in his day | OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

"My style was to take control," he said. "The ones I missed were when I was thinking about what the keeper was thinking, and where I was about to shoot it.

"But in the end I said 'I will just take control, I will put it down how I want to put it down, I choose the corner and I will not change my mind'. Even if the keeper goes to that corner, I just have to make that penalty so perfect that out of 50 penalties, 49 should go in.

"My tip for people learning to take penalties is to take control. You have the ball, not the goalkeeper. The goalkeeper is reacting to you and make sure your penalty is accurate. You can practice that."

Robin van Persie is working with UEFA Europa League partner Enterprise Rent-A-Car. To discover more and to enjoy special rates on car hire across Europe, visit