Manchester United fans may be concerned about the new details emerging regarding Bruno Fernandes’ recent penalty miss in the defeat against Aston Villa.
The Red Devils were beaten 1-0 by Villa at Old Trafford, and threw away the chance to snatch a point as Fernandes blazed his penalty over the bar in stoppage time.
It was slightly surprising to see the Portugal international take the spot kick when Cristiano Ronaldo was on the pitch, and it seems Ronaldo was originally meant to take it, according to the Transfer Window Podcast.
Speaking on the podcast, Duncan Castles shared details about what went on, with Fernandes seemingly going against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s instructions, and with Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez even making reference to it before the effort was taken.
This may also be why Fernandes took to social media with a lengthy apology post afterwards, according to Castles.
“Very interesting interaction between the Aston Villa goalkeeper, the penalty kick specialist, Emiliano Martinez, and Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo. One of the things the goalkeeper used to try to put Bruno Fernandes off was to say to Cristiano Ronaldo, ‘you should be taking this penalty’. And it turns out he was right,” the reporter explained.
“Information I have is that going into that game against Aston Villa, Cristiano Ronaldo was the designated penalty taker for Manchester United.
“He should’ve taken the penalty at the key moment in the game, instead Bruno Fernandes took it upon himself to take it and ultimately miss it.
“I think from that information you can probably see why he made such an act of apology in putting out a seven paragraph social media mea culpa over that miss.”
United boss Solskjaer surely needs to assert more authority in these kinds of situations, rather than the players taking these things into their own hands.
A club of this size should get these very basics sorted if they are to compete for major honours, and it seems Fernandes’ poor mentality here really cost the team.
The former Sporting Lisbon man has generally shown great leadership in his time with MUFC, but on this occasion he clearly felt he knew better than his manager and it was an unnecessary distraction that played into Villa’s hands.