By Obiajulu Chiagoziem
Manchester United, today, hosted Aston Villa at home in Old Trafford stadium. It was indeed a tough match as the boys seemed uncoordinated, with them eventually losing the three points hunt to a 1:0 final score to Aston Villa.
After Aston Villa’s goal however, Manchester United got a penalty, but Bruno Fernandes missed to get the ball into the net from the spot. This has raised a question of why Ronaldo did not take the penalty.
It was a fair question and one that had been put to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. In response, he said:
“Of course I’ve had a chat with the two of them. We’ve got two players there that I’d trust with my life to put a penalty away and that’s a great position got be in.”
“It’s going be my decision what’ll happen. The two of them will keep on doing what they do when they’re asked to take the penalties.
“Two minutes into added time at Old Trafford and we had our answer after Aston Villa goal scorer Kortney Hause handled in the box. Fernandes picked up the ball and Martinez got to work.”
“His intention was clear, to unsettle Fernandes and get in his head. Plant a seed of doubt that he had got the nod ahead of an equally prolific penalty taker standing just yards away. The pressure was on.”
From records, Fernandes had only missed one of his 15 penalty attempts for Manchester United.
“It is such a fine line between heaven and hell,’ said Solskjaer afterwards. “Bruno is such a good penalty taker and you would back him with your mortgage. What I don’t like is how they crowded the referee and the penalty spot. They got what they wanted.”, he concluded.
Solskjaer will make that decision and it won’t be the only tough call facing the Norwegian as he absorbs a third defeat in four games. The early-season pressure is building on him now and he can ill afford another Champions League failure on Wednesday night against a Villarreal side that beat United in the Europa League final in May.
He needs Ronaldo and Fernandes on top form again, regardless of who will be put on the spot.
On Friday, during a pre-match interview, Solskjaer complained that his club was always denied penalties. Today, they got it, and lost the opportunity.