United went behind at Old Trafford through Kortney Hause’s 88th minute header, but had a chance to salvage a point when they were awarded a penalty in added time.
Fernandes was the one to step up, but saw his penalty saved by Emiliano Martinez in the Villa goal.
Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani quickly went over to approach and support their team-mate afterwards.
There were question marks about who would assume penalty duties following Ronaldo’s return to United from Juventus on deadline day.
At former clubs Juve and Real Madrid, the 36-year-old was first choice penalty taker. He also takes spot kicks for Portugal.
However, United’s penalty taker has been Fernandes ever since he completed a move to the Red Devils from Sporting Lisbon in January 2020.
Prior to Saturday, Fernandes has had an exceptional record when it comes to scoring penalties in the Premier League. He had netted nine out of his 10 penalties. The only miss coming against Newcastle United in October 2020.
It remains to be seen whether Ronaldo – who has scored an astonishing 138 spot kicks across his career, with 28 misses – will now take over penalty taking duties.
Solskjaer on missed penalty
When asked about the penalty, United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replied: “Bruno has been excellent and Cristiano is probably the one who has scored the most penalties in England before.
“We’ve got great takers here and it is just a missed opportunity for us to get a point.
“Bruno has been excellent. He is such a good penalty taker, and today you would back him with your mortgage, I would guess. That’s football. He’ll step forward every day of the week for the club and the team. Sometimes it just doesn’t go your way.”
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