Bruno Fernandes Panned For Letting Villarreal Take First Penalty In Europa League Final Shoot-Out
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Bruno Fernandes' decision to let Villarreal go first in the Europa League final penalty shoot-out last night has baffled fans.
Following an extraordinary run of 21 penalties scored, David De Gea's effort was saved by Villarreal goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli to give the Yellow Submarine their first ever trophy.
The spot-kick triumph in Gdansk, which came after a 1-1 draw, also means Unai Emery has now won the UEFA's secondary club competition on four different occasions.
United, meanwhile, have now gone four consecutive seasons without any silverware after falling at the final hurdle.
And though De Gea's miss was decisive, plenty have attached blame to Fernandes, who was captain for the final due to the absence of Harry Maguire.
After Villarreal skipper Raul Albiol won the toss to have the penalties taken at their end of the Gdansk Stadium, Fernandes was the victor in the second toss.
But to the surprise of Albiol, French referee Clement Turpin and those watching the game, Fernandes let the opposition take the first penalty.
The Portuguese talisman made the selection despite data showing that the team who go first in penalties win 60.5% of the time.
Villarreal proved the stats don't lie, emerging victorious 11-10 on penalties. Fernandes' choice had many perplexed on social media:
Fernandes is something of a penalty specialist - and dispatched from 12 yards in the shoot-out - but you'd have to say he made the wrong call here.
The former Sporting CP midfielder broke down in tears after the defeat.