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