Scholes sees all THREE of his Europa League final predictions backfire
‘United to win comfortably… two or three goals will come… and Rashford will destroy Foyth!’: Paul Scholes’ pre-match predictions backfire to leave the Man United legend red-faced after their Europa League humbling
- Paul Scholes saw all three of his predictions on Manchester United backfire
- The over-confident United legend was sure they would dominate in Gdansk
- However, Villarreal held their nerve in the shootout to win the Europa League
- Before kick-off, Scholes claimed United would ‘win this game comfortably’
- He then predicted Juan Foyth to have an off game along with United to dominate
An over-confident Paul Scholes was left red-faced on Wednesday evening after he saw all three of his bold predictions on Manchester United fail to come to fruition as his former side slumped to defeat in the Europa League final.
After a tense 1-1 draw in Gdansk, the final was settled by a penalty shootout which saw Villarreal hold their nerve to win 11-10 following David De Gea’s missed spot-kick.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side headed into the final as big favourites coming up against a Villarreal team who finished seventh in LaLiga, but a flat display from the Red Devils put them on the back foot from the get-go.
Paul Scholes saw all three of his Europa League final predictions on Man United backfire
Gerard Moreno gave Villarreal the surprise lead in the 29th minute before United rallied back through Edinson Cavani but they failed to grasp the momentum and succumbed to a dramatic defeat on penalties, rounding off a humbling night for United.
Speaking before kick-off, United legend Scholes was very confident his former club would win the final ‘comfortably’ against a side he deemed inferior.
‘You’re playing Villarreal here,’ Scholes told BT Sport. ‘You’re playing a team that finished seventh in a really poor LaLiga. Think of Real Madrid and Barcelona, how bad have they been? Manchester United should win this game comfortably.’
Scholes was confident that United would ‘comfortably’ win against an inferior Villarreal
While the former midfielder was sure United would win, he clearly underestimated how good Villarreal boss Unai Emery was at winning this competition.
In Europe, the Yellow Submarine were unbeaten going into the Gdansk showpiece and had to beat the likes of Arsenal and RB Salzburg to get there.
Emery, who has won the Europa League on three different occasions before facing United, also prioritised the competition towards the end of the campaign, which saw them finish in a lowly seventh in Spain’s top flight.
Scholes learned quickly that his first prediction wouldn’t come to fruition after watching a poor first-half display from United, which saw them concede the opener on the half-hour mark.
Scholes’ other pre-match prediction saw him also underestimated Tottenham loanee Juan Foyth.
However, it was Villarreal who broke the deadlock, with Gerard Moreno finishing past De Gea
Moreno’s goal gave Villarreal a deserved first-half lead and scuppered Scholes’ first prediction
The defender has been offered little opportunity to play since Mauricio Pochettino left the north London club in 2019, which saw him shipped out on loan to Villarreal last September.
While Foyth is being afforded plenty of game time under Emery, the Argentine is usually being played out of his natural position.
On Wednesday, he was asked to mark Marcus Rashford at right back, leaving Scholes to insist that the United star would dominate this match-up.
Scholes said: ‘Foyth was a bad centre-back at Tottenham, now he’s playing right back, how can Rashford not destroy him?!’
Scholes was also sure Marcus Rashford (right) would ‘destroy’ Villarreal right back Juan Foyth
While Foyth was left bloodied after seeing the ball smashed off his face, Rashford looked like he would prove Scholes right.
However, Foyth managed to regain composure, leaving Rashford frustrated on the night and unable to make the all important breakthrough himself.
While United were trailing at half-time, Scholes was sure that Solskjaer’s men would turn the result around given how often they come from losing positions to win this season.
Villarreal looked composed and compact in their defensive approach but Scholes insisted that if United were to score an equaliser, the floodgates would open.
Scholes was also confident that the floodgates would open if United got their equaliser
However, Villarreal stood firm with the final being decided in a dramatic penalty shootout
The LaLiga outfit went on to win the shootout and win the first European trophy in the process
‘I’m still confident,’ Scholes said at the half-time interval when asked about United’s hopes of turning the result around.
‘They’ve been in this position a lot of times this season. I think if they’re patient, they’ll open this team up. They’ll get one goal and two or three will come.’
Edinson Cavani did get that equaliser for United 10 minutes after the restart but no second or third goal came, leaving both sides to play out a further 30 minutes of extra-time before the final was decided on penalties.
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