Fernandes misses penalty as Villa deny Man United top spot

Manchester United's Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer consoles Manchester United's Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes after he missed a penalty during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Aston Villa at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 25, 2021. (Photo: AFP)
MANCHESTER, United Kingdom — Bruno Fernandes missed a stoppage-time penalty as Aston Villa shocked Manchester United 1-0 at Old Trafford on Saturday to prevent the Red Devils moving to the top of the Premier League.اضافة اعلان

The Portuguese midfielder blasted his 93rd-minute spot-kick over the bar minutes after Kortney Hause's late headed goal, which earned Villa its first win against United since December 2009.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claimed Villa's players tried to distract Fernandes but backed his player to rebound after he missed just his second penalty for United in 23 attempts.

"The way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno, that's not to my liking," he said.

"It (the miss) doesn't get in Bruno's head. He's strong mentally and he'll step forward again."

United drew a blank in the league for the first time this season despite boasting the top-flight's best attacking record and a star-studded line-up featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Mason Greenwood.
Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard – last week's match-winner at West Ham – were unused substitutes and Edinson Cavani only entered the fray with eight minutes remaining.

United has now lost three of its past four matches in all competitions after exiting the League Cup on Wednesday and conceding a late winner in its Champions League opener at Young Boys the previous week.

The visitors were guilty of wasting several gilt-edged opportunities but were eventually rewarded for their enterprise in a frantic finale.

Hause beat Cavani at the near post from a Douglas Luiz corner to put his side in front in the 88th minute before agonizingly conceding a penalty for handling a Cavani header.

But Fernandes — on spot-kick duty ahead of Ronaldo — missed in a dramatic finish to the game as the hosts racked up 28 shots to no avail.
Earlier, defender Matt Targett squandered Villa's first clear-cut chance of the game when he blazed over at the back post in the 16th minute.

Lingard's misplaced back pass cost United in the Champions League against Young Boys and Harry Maguire almost made the same mistake at Old Trafford.

The United captain's errant back pass forced David de Gea into a rushed clearance, but Villa striker Ollie Watkins's shot was too close to the Spaniard.
Ezri Konsa was the next Villa player to spurn a glorious chance as he missed the target with a header from six yards.
Visiting goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was called into action to deny Greenwood in the second half but the away side continued to have the upper hand.
Villa manager Dean Smith savored his side's win.
"It's been a long time coming. It gives an awful lot of belief to the players," he said.
The result left United locked on 13 points alongside Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool, who was due to play Brentford in the late kick-off on Saturday.

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