Bruno Fernandes will not shy away from penalty duty despite miss against Villa

The playmaker sent his stoppage-time effort high over the bar in a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford.

Bruno Fernandes sends his penalty high over the bar against Aston Villa (Martin Rickett/PA)
Bruno Fernandes sends his penalty high over the bar against Aston Villa (Martin Rickett/PA)

Bruno Fernandes said he will take future penalties “without any fear or dread” after his missed spot-kick saw Manchester United lose at home to Aston Villa

The Portuguese playmaker was given the chance to level proceedings at Old Trafford on Saturday just moments after Kortney Hause had put Villa into an 88th-minute lead.

But Fernandes, who had scored 21 of his previous 22 penalties for United, sent the ball high over the bar and Villa held on for a 1-0 victory.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer backed Fernandes and declined to say whether Cristiano Ronaldo would take the next spot-kick, but the presence of the 27-year-old’s international team-mate inevitably adds extra significance to each missed set-piece.

Writing on Instagram, Fernandes said: “Nobody is more frustrated and disappointed than me for missing the penalty and the consequent defeat.

“I’ve always assumed my responsibilities and I’ve always embraced them under pressure in moments like this. Today, I failed. But I took a step forward and faced the challenge with the same ambition and responsibility as when, on the many other occasions, the ball ended up in the net.

“Criticism and contrasting opinions are a big part of football. I’ve learned to live with it, even using them to drive me on, and I consider it all a very important part of my commitment to never stop trying to improve and to become the best player I can possibly be, for me and the team.

Bruno Fernandes (centre) reacts after missing a late penalty against Aston Villa (Martin Rickett/PA)

“Today I once again took the responsibility given to me almost since I joined United and I will take it again without any fear or dread whenever called upon.”

Chants of ‘Bruno’ rung out around Old Trafford at the end of the match, and Fernandes added: “Thank you for all your support after the final whistle! Hearing you chanting my name in the stadium was very emotional…

“I will come back stronger for me, because these are the standards I hold myself to, but most of all for my team-mates and our fans who have always supported us.”

Kortney Hause (second right) celebrates his goal (Martin Rickett/PA)

Despite Fernandes’ miss, Villa will feel they deserved the victory having had several excellent chances prior to Hause’s goal and restricted United’s all-star attack to few clear-cut opportunities.

Villa have now claimed back-to-back Premier League wins after defeating Everton last weekend, and midfielder John McGinn said on avfc.co.uk: “It was brilliant. Not many teams will come here and get three points.

“It was huge for us to set a marker down for this season. It’s been an indifferent start to the season with a lot of new players trying to adapt.

“We’re missing a couple of big players as well, so it’s a huge, huge result. I’m sure everyone in claret and blue will be delighted.”

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