The French midfielder prevented his Portuguese teammate from taking the last-minute penalty against Aston Villa.
Manchester United fell for the first time this season on Saturday when they lost at home to Aston Villa (0-1). An infuriating defeat that could have been avoided if Bruno Fernandes had converted his penalty in stoppage time.
A laudable but detrimental intervention by Pogba
Usually very skillful in this exercise, the Portuguese midfielder was totally missed this time. He sent the leather well over the frame, missing the opportunity to save the draw for his team. A failure that he will certainly ruminate on for a long time.
Fernandes was therefore the unfortunate hero of this game. A label that he could have escaped since it was not he who was supposed to execute the sentence, but his compatriot Cristiano Ronaldo.
Not to miss
So why didn’t CR7 take charge of a set piece? For the simple reason that Paul Pogba prevented him from doing so. Just after the referee indicated the small white dot on the surface, the Frenchman was seen calling out the five-time Ballon d’Or to ask him to let Fernandes shoot. The initiative was laudable, but so far it was not very inspired on the part of La Pioche.
Solskjaer doesn’t blame Fernandes
Asked about this streak at the end of the match, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Mancunian coach, refused to argue. “You can make all the assumptions about the reaction of the players, Bruno is a very good penalty taker and I hope that you (the journalists, note) will support him by putting out the figures”. Indeed, the former Sporting rarely misses in this exercise. He has only had two failures in 23 tries since moving to MU. And the last one dates back to October 2020 against Newcastle United.
The Norwegian rather deplored the attempt of deconcentration made by the Villans towards his shooter, and in particular goalkeeper Martinez. “What I didn’t like was the way they crowded Bruno and the referee and it’s not great to see they got what they wanted and achieved what they needed “, cursed the coach of the Red Devils.