Shaw hails 'amazing confidence' shown by Rashford and Sancho to take penalties

By Sports Desk April 24, 2023

Luke Shaw hailed the "amazing confidence" shown by Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho to take penalties in Manchester United's FA Cup semi-final shoot-out win over Brighton and Hove Albion.

Sancho and Rashford stepped up third and fourth respectively for United at Wembley, where the game finished 0-0 after extra time, and were both successful from 12 yards as United prevailed 7-6 on penalties.

The United team-mates, along with Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, suffered racist abuse on the back of missing penalties in England's shoot-out defeat to Italy at the same venue in the Euro 2020 final.

Shaw, who was on the scoresheet in that meeting with Italy, believes his international and club colleagues deserve huge praise for stepping up and converting in the tense showdown against Brighton.

"I was next to Jadon. I said, 'Whatever happens happens, just be confident. It's part of football, things happen, these things happen’," Shaw said.

"I think maybe what was playing on their minds are the things that come with it, the racism and stuff that they experienced last time.

"For me, they showed amazing confidence to step up and because the last time they took one in a shoot-out it was here and the memories that come with that.

"But I'm really happy for both of them to put themselves forward and take really good penalties."

Versatile defender Shaw was shifted to centre-back against Brighton to cover for the absences of suspended Harry Maguire and injured pair Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane.

The 27-year-old helped keep a clean sheet and, fitness depending, is certain to start next month's first ever FA Cup final between United and fierce rivals Manchester City.

And Shaw, who has won the EFL Cup and Europa League with United, insists he will never take appearing in major finals for granted after playing his part in the Red Devils' latest run to Wembley.

"As players we can never take anything for granted," he said. "Every day with this manager you have to be 100 per cent at it in training; around the place because he sets high standards. 

"If you don't meet them, you don't play no matter what the circumstances are – whether there's injuries, suspensions, it does not matter.

"So, for me, I don't take it for granted. Still, the back end of the season is the most important – that's when you win stuff, and we want to win this trophy so we have to give it everything."

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