EPL

Man Utd's Bruno Fernandes apologises for penalty miss in shock Premier League loss

By Sports Desk September 25, 2021

Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes issued an apology following his injury-time penalty miss in the shock Premier League defeat to Aston Villa, promising to bounce back amid the club's poor run of form.

United were upstaged 1-0 by visiting Villa at Old Trafford on Saturday after Fernandes blazed a last-gasp spot-kick over the crossbar.

Villa's Kortney Hause looked to have gone from hero to zero when he followed an 88th-minute headed goal at one end with a handball at the other five minutes later.

However, Fernandes – taking the penalty ahead of superstar team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo – fired over the crossbar as United suffered their first Premier League defeat of the season and third loss in four games across all competitions.

Fernandes missed from the penalty spot for only the second time in his 23 attempts for United in all competitions and for the first time since October 2020 against Newcastle United in the Premier League.

"Nobody is more frustrated and disappointed than me for missing the penalty and the consequent defeat," Fernandes wrote via social media.

"I've always assumed my responsibilities and I've always embraced them under pressure in moments like this. Today, I failed. But I took a step forward and faced the challenge with the same ambition and responsibility as when, on the many other occasions, the ball ended up in the net.

"Criticism and contrasting opinions are a big part of football. I've learned to live with it, even using them to drive me on, and I consider it all a very important part of my commitment to never stop trying to improve and to become the best player I can possibly be, for me and the team.

"Today I once again took the responsibility given to me almost since I joined United and I will take it again without any fear or dread whenever called upon.

"The most important thing for me is to win together and I'll always do everything I can to help my team-mates and the club to be the best we can be.

"I'm a player who leaves everything on the pitch, with great desire and commitment. And that's what I'll continue to do.

"Thank you for all your support after the final whistle! Hearing you chanting my name in the stadium was very emotional… I will come back stronger for me, because these are the standards I hold myself to, but most of all for my team-mates and our fans who have always supported us."

United are fourth in the Premier League – a point behind leaders Liverpool through six matches.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United have conceded in each of their last eight league games at Old Trafford, their longest top-flight run without a clean sheet on home soil since February 1972 (also eight games).

United mustered a total of 28 shots without scoring, last attempting more in a home Premier League fixture without finding the back of the net in October 2016 against Burnley (38 shots in a goalless draw).

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