Ole Gunnar Solskjaer slams Aston Villa players for actions towards Bruno Fernandes


Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty miss proved costly as Manchester United fell to a defeat against Aston Villa, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chose to direct his anger towards the opposition rather than his star midfielder

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Solskjaer won’t blame Fernandes despite penalty miss

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit out at Aston Villa’s players for their role in Bruno Fernandes’ late penalty miss as Manchester United fell to their first defeat of the Premier League campaign.

Kortney Hause had put Villa ahead on 87 minutes with a late header after a frustrating display from the Red Devils.

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But they got the chance to level the score in stoppage time when referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot, after Hause was adjudged to have handled inside the area.

In the moments before the penalty being taken, the Villa players surrounded the referee and Fernandes in the penalty area in attempt to put off the 27-year-old.

Bruno Fernandes missed a penalty in stoppage time as Man Utd fell to defeat against Aston Villa

It was even claimed Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez told Fernandes that he wanted Cristiano Ronaldo to take the penalty.

But it was Fernandes who stepped up instead of Ronaldo and the midfielder could only watch with horror as he blazed his spot-kick high over the crossbar and into the stands.

The Portuguese playmaker had scored all but one of his 22 penalties before Saturday’s game but his miss proved costly as United succumbed to a third defeat in four games in all competitions.

Solskjaer, however, refused to blame the Man United midfielder — and instead singled out Villa’s players for their apparent lack of sportsmanship.

“I wasn’t going to mention it but it’s not right that they do that,” Solskjaer said in his post-match interview.

“I guess that should be a yellow card for someone but they have achieved what they wanted.

Aston Villa players protest Mike Dean’s decision to award Man Utd a penalty

“The way they get around the penalty spot, get around Bruno… that’s not to my liking.”

The pressure is starting to build on Solskjaer, who oversaw a summer of spending with the likes of Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho arriving at Old Trafford.

But it was their second defeat in the space of a week, following the 1-0 home defeat to West Ham which sent them crashing out of the Carabao Cup third round.

Solskjaer chose to focus on the positives but felt United’s lack of cutting edge in the final third was the difference in the scoreline.

“We were very aggressive, very good on transition,” he added.

“[We] got forward quickly but the final shot, final pass and final decision wasn’t always the best one. 20 of the 30 attempts were blocked.”

United legend Gary Neville, working as a co-commentator for Sky Sports, has urged the Red Devils to start playing together as a team or risk seeing their title bid go up in flames.

“Look, I said it even when they were winning, even when was Ronaldo scoring… they don’t play well enough as a team to win this league in my view,” he said on his Sky Sports podcast.

Bruno Fernandes is consoled by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after missing a penalty for Man Utd

“I think that you have to be a unit in possession and out of possession and when you’re only delivering moments, those moments won’t go for you in certain games.

“You need patterns of play, you need a way of playing. And I, at this moment in time, still see a group of individuals playing in moments with some passes and combinations at times.

“Some of them are still new together, Varane, Sancho hasn’t settled in yet. But they’ve got to come together as a team and define a style of play. They’ve got to get results when they don’t play well.

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