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Solskjaer & Sherwood disagree on Ronaldo’s role in Fernandes penalty miss

Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes
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Tim Sherwood thinks Cristiano Ronaldo was partly the reason for Bruno Fernandes’ penalty miss, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had another theory.

Manchester United fell to a 1-0 home defeat to Aston Villa on Saturday, but the main talking point was arguably Bruno Fernandes’ terrible penalty miss.

After Kortney Hause headed Aston Villa into a surprise lead, the defender went from hero to zero when he handled the ball inside his own box to give United a penalty in the dying moments of the match.

It was a chance for the club to salvage a point and stay as joint leaders of the Premier League.

The big question was, who would take the penalty – Cristiano Ronaldo or Bruno Fernandes? The debate that many fans had pondered about since CR7’s return was answered when Fernandes stepped up. His spot-kick, though, saw the ball fly right over the bar.

Sherwood thinks CR7’s presence was the problem

The former Aston Villa manager reckons Ronaldo’s presence messed with Fernandes’ head during his penalty miss in Manchester United’s 1-0 loss to Aston Villa.

“He threw the ball to Ronaldo in an international game [against Ireland in a World Cup qualifier] and Ronaldo missed one… But he doesn’t miss that normally. You’ve never, ever seen him blast the ball over the crossbar,” Sherwood told Sky Sports.

“He always waits for the goalkeeper to go down and rolls it in the other corner. It’s the pressure now of someone else.

“The main man is here. 100% it has distorted his thinking there. He knows he’s got one chance and one chance only, and I think we’ve just seen it go by.”

Solskjaer disagrees with Sherwood

The Red Devils boss suggested the Aston Villa players tried to put Fernandes under pressure by crowding him before his penalty miss.

“First of all, the way they get around the penalty spot, around Bruno and all that, that’s not to my liking, but I do understand it, it shouldn’t be that way,” Solskjaer said in a post-match interview.

“Bruno is normally very good in those positions and unfortunately, just missed this one. It doesn’t get into Bruno’s head. He’s strong mentally and he’ll step forward again.”

Fernandes’ Manchester United penalty record

The midfielder has scored 21 times from the spot for Manchester United and missed just two times across all competitions. That gives him a 91.3% success rate from the 12-yard spot.

A 4-1 win over Newcastle in October 2020 was the only other time Fernandes had missed a penalty before the weekend.