What Solskjaer got right as Man Utd lose Europa League title on penalties

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may be rueing a number of mistakes after Manchester United lost the Europa League final to Villarreal.

Gerard Moreno gave the Spanish side the lead in the first-half after getting on the end of a Dani Parejo free-kick.

Edinson Cavani grabbed the equaliser after the break to continue his brilliant form recently, pouncing on a goalmouth scramble at a corner.

Both sides huffed and puffed but nothing could separate the sides, meaning it had to go to penalties.

After every player took and scored, it fell to David de Gea – who had his effort saved by Geronimo Rulli.

But where did it go right for Solskjaer in Gdansk? And where did it go wrong?

What went wrong?

Shoddy set-piece defending

This is not the first time United have conceded from a free-kick and judging by the defending, this will not be the last.

Solskjaer must find a solution to how poor his defence are defending set-pieces, especially when Harry Maguire is absent.

It can be easy to put the blame on the fact the United captain was missing but it is a huge weakness of the Red Devils, though the ball in was sublime from Parejo.

Fernandes missing

United's midfield looked light with Paul Pogba and Scott McTominay in there trying to find space – but where was Bruno Fernandes?

The Portuguese star was nowhere to be seen for large portions of the game, even popping up in the left-back position.

Fernandes is the club's main man and should be counted on in these moments – but tonight was not his night.

Rashford unfit?

There was some chatter that Marcus Rashford might have unfit going into tonight's match and it looked very much the case.

A poor first 45 minutes was summed up by a jaw-dropping miss from just a few yards out after the break in a match the England international never got going in.

It has been a long season for Rashford, who will want a decent rest before going again this summer in the Euros.

What went right?

Greenwood gleaming

It speaks volumes that the selection of the 19-year-old was not even questioned, Mason Greenwood is a star.

And the teenager looked like the only one capable of producing a piece of magic and his ability with either foot is astonishing.

Regardless of the result tonight, Greenwood has a huge future with United where he looks set to stay his career and become a legend.

Main man Cavani

It would have been preposterous if Solskjaer had not played Cavani after his sparkling form – but the best decision was getting the striker to sign a new one-year contract.

After a tough start to life, the Uruguay international is playing like he was in his prime and earned his goal through some classic tenacity.

Only Cavani reacted in the box from a loose ball, having the simple task of tucking in from six yards out – this man will be huge for United next season.

READ MORE:Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand agree on answer to Man Utd's goalkeeping dilemma

READ MORE:Sir Alex Ferguson's 'stirring speech' which helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's squad to Europa League final

  • Manchester United FC
  • Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
  • Europa League
  • Harry Maguire
  • Marcus Rashford
  • Paul Pogba
  • Rio Ferdinand
  • Sir Alex Ferguson
  • Unai Emery
  • Space

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