VIDEO: Emi Martinez Challenged Cristiano Ronaldo to Take the Penalty for Manchester United

Published 09/26/2021, 6:21 AM EDT


Manchester United hasn’t won a trophy in the past 4 years. Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s initial years, the main concern was about how he did not have a competent team to compete with the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. Now, when they finally have had a stellar transfer window, signing Cristiano Ronaldo, the performances haven’t lived up to their expectations.

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Manchester United’s last three matches have been disastrous, to say the least. First, they lost their Champions League opener against Young Boys, then they got knocked out of the Carabao Cup, and last night they lost against Aston Villa in the last minute.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Aston Villa – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – September 25, 2021 Aston Villa’s Kortney Hause celebrates scoring their first goal with John McGinn REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

To make matters worse, after Villa scored in the 89th minute, Manchester United received a penalty in the injury time, which Bruno Fernandes uncharacteristically missed.

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Emiliano Martinez throws an open challenge to Cristiano Ronaldo

In the dying moments of regular time, Aston Villa’s Kortney Hause found the back of the net, giving Aston Villa the lead. Their lead, unfortunately, was about to be overturned when they gave away a penalty to Manchester United in the 92nd minute. To everyone’s surprise, Ole decided to let the penalty duties remain with Bruno Fernandes.

While Bruno Fernandes is good at penalties, Cristiano Ronaldo is way more experienced from the spot. Most keepers would be happy to not face CR7 in a penalty, but Martinez wanted the challenge.

As Bruno was teeing up to take the penalty, the Argentine went and asked Ronaldo to take the penalty instead of Bruno Fernandes. Analyzing the body language of Bruno, it felt like he paid no heed, but the eventual miss proved that Martinez’s mental gymnastics worked.

What’s next for Ronaldo and Manchester United?

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When things don’t go your way, they really press your back against the wall till your only move left is to move forward. Manchester United’s three-game skid might just be the tip of the iceberg. This is because the Red Devils‘ next five EPL fixtures are surely going to present Ole with a headache.

Manchester United faces Everton, Leicester City, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur, and Manchester City in their next five games.

Soccer Football – Premier League – Manchester United v Aston Villa – Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain – September 25, 2021 Manchester United’s Harry Maguire receives medical attention as Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba react REUTERS/Phil Noble EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club /league/player publications. Please contact your account representative for further details.

Not to forget, they will also have to juggle between the Champions League where they will face Villareal and Atalanta. Safe to say, their season pretty much depends on how they fare in this grueling run of fixtures.

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Suresh Menon

165 articles

Suresh Menon is a Football and NFL writer at Essentially Sports. He is currently pursuing BMM from St Xaviers College with his specialization in Advertising. Juventus is his favorite football club and he one day plans to go to Italy and watch a Juve match live.

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