Ole Gunnar Solskjaer complained about the behaviour of Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez as Bruno Fernandes missed an injury-time penalty amidst chaotic scenes at Old Trafford.
Fernandes was forced to wait for two minutes following Kourtney Hause’s handball as Villa players surrounded the spot and Martinez wound up the taker by pointing at Cristiano Ronaldo and indicating he should be given the penalty instead.
After the fuss, Fernandes blasted his kick high into the Stretford End – only his second miss in 23 attempts for United – to allow Villa to celebrate a 1-0 win.
‘I didn’t enjoy, I didn’t like, the way they crowded the referee and the penalty spot and tried to affect him,’ said Solskjaer. ‘It clearly worked for them but that’s not great to see.
‘But they achieved what they needed to and got what they wanted to.’
The late drama puts Solskjaer in a difficult position about who will take United’s next penalty. Ronaldo accepted the decision for Fernandes to take the kick but is unlikely to be as accommodating next time.
‘You will be making all these assumptions now on the reaction of players,’ added Fernandes. ‘You know Bruno has been excellent. He is such a good penalty taker and today you’d back him with your mortgage I would guess.
‘That is football. He (Bruno) will step forward every day of the week for club and the team. Sometimes it just don’t go your way.
‘It is such a fine line between Heaven and Hell and unfortunately today he missed.
‘That is going to be the headline isn’t it! (Ronaldo v Fernandes). Bruno has been excellent and Cristiano is probably the one that has scored the most penalties in world football.
‘We have got great takers here and it is just a missed opportunity for us to get a point.’