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Featured Image Credit: PA/Manchester United - Twitter
Opposition supporters have been ridiculing Manchester United on Twitter after they posted a message of support for Bruno Fernandes following his penalty miss over the weekend.
The Portugal international smashed his 93rd-minute spot kick over Emiliano Martinez's crossbar on Saturday, condemning the Red Devils to their first Premier League defeat of the season.
Not since Gabriel Agbonlahor scored the winner in 2009 had Aston Villa won at Old Trafford, but Fernandes' unsuccessful injury-time effort meant the visitors left with all three points.
It led to the 27-year-old posting an apology online after the shock result, in which he told fans that he "failed" when tasked with rescuing a point for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side.
"Nobody is more frustrated and disappointed than me for missing the penalty and the consequent defeat.
"I've always assumed responsibility and I've always embraced them under pressure moments like this. Today, I failed," Fernandes wrote.
No excuses for my penalty miss today. I'm my biggest critic but as always I'll use it to drive me forward. More than my disappointment though, the team's loss today is the most important. I'll be ready next time. pic.twitter.com/tTBgURne8B
- Bruno Fernandes (@B_Fernandes8) September 25, 2021
His open letter to the United faithful led to the club's official account posting an image including the messages of encouragement from the talismanic forward's teammates to his heartfelt words, although it's resulted in a fierce backlash.
"Embarrassing, it's not like it was the UCL final, it's a missed penalty that denied Utd ONE point."
"Chill. it's just a penalty miss. drama queens."
Considering the former Sporting Lisbon ace has been instrumental in United's recent resurgence during his time at the club and the fact he only missed a penalty in game week six, it's easy to understand why some fans have been quick to point out the overreaction.
United, always :punch:#MUFC ' #MondayMotivation pic.twitter.com/0eGrmKCOIg
- Manchester United (@ManUtd) September 27, 2021
Fernandes already has four goals and one assist to his name in just eight appearances for the 20-time English champions, meaning a mistake from time to time is surely something that can be forgiven without any fuss.
One fan said: "Please @LFC Never allow any of our lot to do this if they miss a penalty. He missed a penalty, it happens. Why has he felt like he has to give a full statement on it. Ridiculous."
Another commented: "I think this is very weird. It's a missed penalty, it happens. Wouldn't be going on like this if he'd missed a one on one with the keeper."
What's all the bloody fuss about? You missed a pen mate, move on, cause this is getting embarrassing... https://t.co/GzMhy9RvQz
- Neal:flag_au: (@NealGardner_) September 27, 2021
Stop this utter nonsense. It's beyond cringe. He doesn't need to explain himself, we know his team mates will back him, the club don't need to regurgitate it. Let's move on ffs. https://t.co/egmCnchFxA
- Jay Motty (@JayMotty) September 27, 2021
His uncharacteristic error saw United lose their third game out of the previous four, but the response since from Fernandes and the club has blown the severity of the situation out of proportion, resulting in some understandable mockery from opposition fanbases.
It should end the debate over who takes the spot-kicks for the Red Devils, though, a discussion that had been going on ever since former Real Madrid and Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo returned to English shores.
Old foes Villarreal are next up for United in the Champions League, and they'll be desperate to put this whole penalty miss debacle behind them.
Words by George Cannon.