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May 26, 2021 at 8pm UK
Man UtdManchester United
Villarreal win 11-10 on penalties
Moreno (29')
Capoue (54'), Foyth (84')
Cavani (55')
Bailly (82'), Cavani (113')

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer considered substituting David de Gea

:Headline: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer considered substituting David de Gea:
The Red Devils' wait for a trophy goes on after losing the Europa League final to Villarreal on penalties on Wednesday night.
Sports Mole

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says now is the time to be strong and "learn from failure" after the agonising Europa League penalty shootout defeat against Villarreal extended Manchester United's wait for a trophy.

Having won the competition in 2017 under Jose Mourinho, the Red Devils were favourites to claim their first silverware since then when taking on the LaLiga side in the Polish port of Gdansk.

But Solskjaer's men never got going against the European final debutants, who went into half-time ahead after Gerard Moreno turned home a free-kick as United's soft underbelly from set-pieces was exposed once again.

Edinson Cavani levelled during a bright start to the second half, but that soon petered out and the match ended 1-1 after extra time with David De Gea's saved spot-kick seeing Villarreal triumph 11-10.

"I always believe in our players and I thought we did what we needed to and pushed on for about five to 10 minutes after equalising," Solskjaer said.

"But then when the goal didn't come on, we couldn't kick onto the next level.

"To be honest, I felt we probably more and more dropped off as the game wore on.

"Of course it's very, very disappointing. It's hard, there's loads of disappointment in the dressing room but in a penalty shootout anything can happen.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer applauds Villarreal after the Europa League final (Rafal Oleksiewicz/PA)

"I thought the penalties were really of a high standard so can't fault the focus."

Asked about the hurt of such a challenging campaign ending like this, Solskjaer said: "You've got to be strong.

"You've got to learn from failure, learn from these disappointments because it's a lesson.

"It's a lesson that we're still not where we want to be, still not at the quality we want to be.

"Well, we felt the players out there, you got Mason (Greenwood), Marcus (Rashford) who are match-winners in their own right. Bruno (Fernandes), Edi, of course they can create anything," the Norwegian added.

"Scott (McTominay) I thought was the best player on the pitch and Paul (Pogba), so it's difficult to make that change, especially when Fred's been injured for a week.

"He came on and he did well, the boy. We just couldn't create enough chances to win the game.

"When they've got (Pau) Torres and (Raul) Albiol in there with crosses it's always going to be difficult. We needed to play our way into the box quicker."

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