Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not keen to discuss the reason why Cristiano Ronaldo wasn’t on penalty duties as Bruno Fernandes cost his side a point at Old Trafford.
Following a late goal from Kortney Hause, the Villa defender gave away a penalty, and it was Fernandes who stepped up to take it despite the summer signing of Ronaldo.
With the Portugal skipper watching on in hope, his international colleague smashed the spot-kick high over the bar as Dean Smith’s men grabbed an unexpected victory.
Unsurprisingly, Solskjaer was not in buoyant mood following the final whistle, and wasn’t keen to talk about the decision to leave the greatest goalscorer of all time watching on.
Initially complaining that Villa’s goal was offside, the Norwegian turned his attentions to the way the opposition acted before the penalty was taken.
Solskjaer said: “First of all the way they get round the penalty spot, get round Bruno and that, that’s not to my liking. Bruno is usually very good in those positions and unfortunately he missed this one.”
Adding: “It doesn’t get in Bruno’s head. He’s strong mentally and he’ll step forward again. The decision (on who takes penalties) is made before the game.”
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Following Ronaldo’s summer switch from Juventus, Rio Ferdinand said that Fernandes should stay on free-kick duty – but pass over penalties to Ronaldo going forward.
He told his FIVE podcast: “I think Bruno gives up penalties but doesn’t relinquish free-kicks and corners. The free-kicks around the box, he’s going to be on them I think.
“I think his record demands that he should do that.
“He (Ronaldo) takes the penalties, 100 per cent. They agree to give him the penalties but I think free-kicks around the box, Bruno’s just wiping the ball and putting it down.
“I think Bruno sees the bigger picture, that this guy can get us over the line to win us trophies.
“If that means my percentage of goal involvements goes down but he gets his hands on a big trophy, he’d take that all day long.”