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Man United’s Bruno Fernandes decided to let Villarreal take first penalty in Europa League final

bruno fernandes

Even the referee was surprised by the decision.

Manchester United’s Bruno Fernandes inexplicably decided to let Villarreal take the first penalty in the Europa League final shootout, much to the frustration of many Man United fans.

Fernandes was the captain on the night and was left with the responsibility to decide on whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side went first or second in the shootout.

Bruno Fernandes decides to let Man United shoot second.

The Portuguese star made the decision despite the fact that you are more likely to win if you decide to go first.

Professor Igacia Palacios-Huerta, of the London School of Economics, analysed 1,343 penalty kicks from 129 penalty shoot-outs and found that the team that shot first won 60.5% of them.

This is most likely to be because of the increased pressure placed on the opposition penalty-taker, who is more likely to know the consequences of a miss.

Judging by the 26-year-old’s indecisiveness when he won the toss, it’s looking likely that this wasn’t discussed by Solskjaer, or any of his coaching staff, at all before the game.

Man United’s penalty shootout.

After a poor first-half from Man United, where Gerard Moreno scored to make it 1-0, they responded after the break and Edinson Cavani equalised to make the game 1-1.

However, it was a drab affair afterwards as both sides struggled to create clear-cut goal chances.

If anything, Villarreal were looking more threatening in extra-time but in the end, both sides were seemingly happy enough to take the game to penalties.

After 120 minutes, there was still no separating the sides as all 20 outfield players scored their respective penalties.

David De Gea in the penalty shootout.

It was then up to Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli, who decisively slotted his spot-kick past David De Gea.

Unfortunately for the United keeper, he wouldn’t be able to do the same for his penalty as Rulli saved his effort low to his left, sparking wild celebrations.

As the 2017 Europa League winners were second in the shootout, there always seemed to be more pressure on their players, given there was no safety-net in place if they were to miss.

Video footage of penalty coin toss involving Man United’s Bruno Fernandes.

While video footage shows Fernandes winning the toss, it has also been confirmed by The Athletic.

In the video, you can see Villarreal win the toss to have the penalties taken at the end with their supporters.

On the second toss, Fernandes wins it and is given the choice to go first or second in the shootout. He decides to go second, with even the referee slightly bemused.

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