Conspiracy theorists think Bruno Fernandes missed penalty deliberately
Buckle up, it's conspiracy theory time
Conspiracy theories are somewhat of a rarity in football.
The reason for that is because the game usually comes down to statistics or opinion, both of which can be expertly used to argue one's point of view.
However, when conspiracy theories do sneak their way into a football debate, it is always worth giving at least two minutes to ponder them before (usually) dismissing them as absolute rubbish.
Following Manchester United's 1-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday (September 25) afternoon, a video began to circulate around the internet.
After Kortney Hause put Villa ahead in the 88th minute, all looked lost for the Red Devils.
However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men were provided with a lifeline after Villa's goalscorer handled the ball inside the penalty area, conceding a penalty deep into added-time.
Although Cristiano Ronaldo was on the pitch, the responsibility fell on Bruno Fernandes - who had only missed one penalty in normal time in his United career.
Following some unnecessary commotion, accompanied with Emiliano Martínez 'asking' Ronaldo to take the spot-kick instead of his Portuguese compatriot, Man Utd's No 18 stepped up to take the penalty.
Unlike a usual Fernandes penalty, Bruno decided on smashing the ball, rather than placing it like he normally does.
This backfired massively as his spot-kick flew high over the crossbar and into the stands of Old Trafford.
🗣 "There are pigeons who are ducking for their lives."
Reaction to Bruno Fernandes' penalty miss for Manchester United 😅 pic.twitter.com/A43YTze74k
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 25, 2021
When a footballer misses a penalty, they are usually forgiven in an instant because - in extremely simple terms - they just did not mean to miss their spot-kick.
However, following Fernandes' penalty miss against Villa, some (significant emphasis on 'some') decided that there was a deep conspiracy behind his miss.
A video began to circulate on TikTok claiming that the 27-year-old missed his penalty on purpose, with the start of the video showing Fernandes' awful miss alongside the caption: "This miss was not an accident."
@reddevilarmy21#fyp #manchesterunited #premierleague #bruno #penalty #conspiracytheory #championsleague #football♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs - Skittlegirl Sound
The video - which features some stereotypical conspiracy-style music - continues by showing Ronaldo seemingly saying "well done" to Fernandes, despite the former looking less than impressed and, maybe reluctantly, offering his support to Fernandes.
The bulk of the theory rests on, surprisingly, *another* conspiracy which suggests that Steven Gerrard did the same thing that the video accuses the United man of doing when he 'purposely' missed a spot-kick against Blackburn Rovers in 2011, in order to get then-manager Roy Hodgson sacked.
It shows the former Liverpool captain supposedly looking over to his manager before placing his spot-kick over the crossbar and ensuring that Rovers enjoyed a memorable victory at Elwood Park.
Whilst it would be easy to suggest that this is the opinion of 'some' United fans, the reality is that it is a conspiracy theory and lacks any substance to be proven right.
As well as this, considering the lengthy apology that Fernandes issued on Instagram, he would have to be some actor to pull this heist off.
Even if Solskjaer gets sacked - whether that be this season or years down the line - it is likely to be because of United's results, rather than a pre-empted plan by Bruno Fernandes in hope of getting his manager replaced.
- Gary Neville says Man United ‘not enough of a team’ to win Premier League
- Bruno Fernandes responds to late penalty miss as he vows to ‘come back stronger’
- Solskjaer claims Villa winner was offside and takes aim at away side