Former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood believes Cristiano Ronaldo played a role in Bruno Fernandes’ penalty miss that cost Manchester United a point against Aston Villa.
Kortney Hause had given Dean Smith’s side an 88th-minute lead at Old Trafford. But the same player then handled in the box to give the hosts a chance to take a share of the spoils. There had been much debate as to who would take United’s penalties after the arrival of Ronaldo.
Portugal’s Fernandes has been superb for the Red Devils from 12 yards, but his compatriot is also deadly. It was the former who was given the nod but he blasted high over the crossbar.
There was no time for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side to come back as they suffered their third loss in four games. The result was not too damaging to their title challenge as they sit fourth but are just one point behind table-topping Liverpool.
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But there was a sense of shock around the Theatre of Dreams as the midfielder got things so badly wrong. Sherwood pulled no punches in his assessment of events.
The 52-year-old feels that Fernandes is now under immense pressure due to having a proven penalty taker and legend like Ronaldo in the side.
“He threw the ball to Ronaldo in an international game and Ronaldo missed on,” he told Football Daily, via Twitter. “But he doesn’t miss that normally.
“You’ve never, ever seen him blast the ball over the crossbar. He always waits for the goalkeeper to go down and rolls it in the other corner. It’s the pressure now of someone else.
“The main man is here. 100% it has distorted his thinking there. He knows he’s got one chance and one chance only, and I think we’ve just seen it go by.”
Ronaldo rallies the troops Despite the setback it has been an encouraging start to the campaign for United. Former Real Madrid and Juventus forward Ronaldo has played his part, with three goals in as many league games.
He was unable to get on the scoresheet against the Villans and has urged his team-mates to hit straight back.
“This is only the beginning, but in a competition as strong as the Premier League, every point counts,” he wrote on Instagram. “We must react immediately, get back on our feet and show our true strength.”
Next up for Solskjaer’s men is Wednesday’s visit of Villarreal in the Champions League. And they then host Everton in the Premier League next Saturday.
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