Bruno Fernandes took Manchester United’s penalty in their defeat to Aston Villa despite being instructed to leave it for Cristiano Ronaldo, according to reports.
United suffered their first loss of the new Premier League season last month as Villa ran out 1-0 winners at Old Trafford.
Fernandes had the chance to rescue a point for United after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were awarded a penalty in injury time, but the Portugal international blazed his effort over the bar.
Following Ronaldo’s return to United, many expected the 36-year-old to take over penalty duty from Fernandes given his impressive record from the spot during his time at Real Madrid, Juventus and with Portugal’s national team.
According to The Transfer Window podcast, Solskjaer did put Ronaldo down as United’s designated penalty taker ahead of their clash with Villa, but Fernandes took it upon himself to step up.
‘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,’ Duncan Castles said on the podcast.
‘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.’
Speaking after the defeat to Villa, Solskjaer confirmed that he had selected a designated penalty taker before the game and defended Fernandes, who issued a lengthy apology, over his miss.
‘Bruno has been excellent and Cristiano is probably the one who has scored the most penalties in world football. So we’ve got great takers here,’ said the United manager.
‘Bruno has been excellent, he’s such a good penalty taker and today, you’d back him with your mortgage. He’ll step forward every day of the week, for the club and the team, sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.’
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