Europa League - Final
VillarrealVillarreal1Man UtdManchester United1
Villarreal win 11-10 on penalties

Villarreal 1-1 Manchester United (11-10 on pens): David de Gea spot kick saved in epic Europa League final shootout

By Simon StoneBBC Sport at Gdansk Stadium
David de Gea's penalty is saved
All previous 21 penalties had been converted before David de Gea's miss

David de Gea failed at the end of a marathon penalty shootout as Villarreal dashed Manchester United's hopes of Europa League glory in Gdansk.

This was a disappointing contest lacking in quality and producing only three shots on target across 120 minutes - but drama arrived with the spot-kicks.

All 20 outfield players converted their penalties in the longest shootout in a final of any Uefa competition, and in an increasingly tense stadium Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli blasted home his effort and then denied De Gea, who was crestfallen at the end.

It gave Villarreal a first major trophy in their history and saw former Arsenal boss Unai Emery lift the Europa League for an unprecedented fourth time.

However, on the anniversary of both Sir Matt Busby's birth and the epic Champions League final in 1999 that earned Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hero status among the Old Trafford faithful, there was to be no new 26 May landmark as United complete a fourth year without silverware.

United simply did not do enough, despite the massive gulf in transfer fees and salaries between the two clubs.

Solskjaer's side did not start well and fell behind to a soft goal from Gerard Moreno.

Edinson Cavani dragged United level 10 minutes into the second period after a Marcus Rashford shot had been deflected into his path, but United failed to build on that momentum and by the end Solskjaer was introducing Juan Mata and Alex Telles purely to take penalties in the shootout.

Both players scored. Although given De Gea had failed to save any of the previous 21 penalties he had faced, maybe Solskjaer should have followed the example of former United boss Louis van Gaal, who famously brought on Tim Krul purely for a shootout at the 2014 World Cup, which the Netherlands went on to win

Solskjaer's substitute problem

Solskjaer says season hasn't been successful

For most of this season, no-one has been quite sure which United were going to turn up. It felt like that across the whole game in Gdansk, as they alternated between inventive and passive almost with each passing minute.

Evidently, Solskjaer felt he had no choice other than to stick with it.

In the final game of last season, he waited until the 87th minute of the semi-final defeat by Sevilla before making a change.

By then, his side were losing, so it was not a shock the Norwegian had not used any of the six he was allowed on this occasion as extra time began.

Edinson Cavani
Edinson Cavani's 17th goal of the season took the game to extra time

The brutal truth is, having gone with his strongest offensive starting XI, there was no-one on the bench Solskjaer felt confident could improve the situation.

In Cavani and Mason Greenwood, two of United's best performers were attackers. But Rashford had a poor game, which was summed up by the England man failing to convert when Greenwood had given him a clear sight at goal.

Any goal would have been ruled offside but Rashford was not to know that as his scuffed effort rolled wide.

Scott McTominay's midfield industry outshone both Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba, who both flitted in and out of the game without producing anything truly remarkable.

Defensive slip-up

It would be easy to point to the absence of captain Harry Maguire as the key factor in Moreno's opener.

But Maguire was on the pitch when United conceded a very similar kind of goal against Everton in February.

On that occasion it was Dominic Calvert-Lewin who slid the ball past De Gea as United's defence failed to deal with a free-kick floated from a deep position into their penalty area.

This time Moreno's run into the box went unchecked, allowing him to get in front of Victor Lindelof and turn Dani Parejo's free-kick into De Gea's goal.

Gerard Moreno
Gerard Moreno scored his 30th goal of the season to give Villarreal the lead

It is the kind of routine situation Solskjaer's team have been vulnerable to all season and seemed to be something Emery had worked out given the number of times Villarreal put themselves in situations to deliver such crosses, without quite getting their execution right.

Not that nervous United defending was limited to set-pieces. The sight of Eric Bailly attempting an overhead-kick inside his own six-yard box in the opening stages of the second period would have been only marginally less worrying had he actually connected with the ball.

It could be argued Solskjaer should have addressed the issue before now. Some may claim it was for the powers-that-be to deal with it for him.

Now, having failed to win a trophy in two and a half seasons as manager, the familiar questions about his own ability will follow the Norwegian around all summer.

United's penalty shootout woes - the stats

  • Villarreal are the first side to win in their first appearance in a major European final since Shakhtar Donetsk in the 2008-09 Uefa Cup.
  • Manchester United have lost six of their last seven penalty shootouts in all competitions, only winning against Rochdale in the League Cup in September 2019 in that time.
  • Villarreal boss Unai Emery is the first manager to win either the Uefa Cup or Europa League four times, surpassing Giovanni Trapattoni.
  • Villarreal became the 13th side in Europe's big five leagues to hit the 100-goal milestone in all competitions this season (100).
  • The three shots on target produced in the game (one for Villarreal and two for Manchester United) was the lowest tally in a Europa League final since Porto v Sporting Braga in 2011 also saw just three.
  • Gerard Moreno netted his 82nd goal in all competitions for Villarreal, joining Giuseppe Rossi as the club's all-time top-scorer.
  • Moreno became the first player to score 30+ goals for Villarreal in a single season in all competitions since Giuseppe Rossi in 2010-11 (32).
  • Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani became just the third player aged 34 or above to score in a major European final for an English club, after Gary McAllister (36) for Liverpool in the Uefa Cup final versus Alaves in 2000-01 and Didier Drogba (34) for Chelsea in the Champions League final versus Bayern Munich in 2011-12
  • Manchester United's Edinson Cavani has scored 16 goals in his last 11 starts in the Europa League.
  • Manchester United's Mason Greenwood made his 52nd appearance this season in all competitions, the joint-most of any teenager with a team from Europe's big five leagues along with Barcelona's Pedri.

Player of the match

MorenoGerard Moreno

with an average of 7.98

Villarreal

  1. Squad number7Player nameMoreno
    Average rating

    7.98

  2. Squad number18Player nameMoreno
    Average rating

    7.87

  3. Squad number5Player nameParejo
    Average rating

    7.84

  4. Squad number4Player nameTorres
    Average rating

    7.83

  5. Squad number3Player nameAlbiol
    Average rating

    7.80

  6. Squad number19Player nameCoquelin
    Average rating

    7.75

  7. Squad number17Player namePaco Alcácer
    Average rating

    7.72

  8. Squad number2Player nameMario Gaspar
    Average rating

    7.70

  9. Squad number13Player nameRulli
    Average rating

    7.69

  10. Squad number12Player nameDani Raba
    Average rating

    7.68

  11. Squad number25Player nameCapoue
    Average rating

    7.67

  12. Squad number9Player nameBacca
    Average rating

    7.64

  13. Squad number14Player nameManu Trigueros
    Average rating

    7.62

  14. Squad number23Player nameMoi Gómez
    Average rating

    7.60

  15. Squad number8Player nameFoyth
    Average rating

    7.57

  16. Squad number30Player namePino
    Average rating

    7.55

  17. Squad number24Player namePedraza
    Average rating

    7.51

Manchester United

  1. Squad number7Player nameCavani
    Average rating

    5.89

  2. Squad number39Player nameMcTominay
    Average rating

    5.76

  3. Squad number23Player nameShaw
    Average rating

    4.88

  4. Squad number8Player nameMata
    Average rating

    4.52

  5. Squad number29Player nameWan-Bissaka
    Average rating

    4.45

  6. Squad number11Player nameGreenwood
    Average rating

    4.37

  7. Squad number38Player nameTuanzebe
    Average rating

    4.30

  8. Squad number18Player nameBruno Fernandes
    Average rating

    4.28

  9. Squad number21Player nameJames
    Average rating

    4.21

  10. Squad number27Player nameAlex Telles
    Average rating

    4.13

  11. Squad number6Player namePogba
    Average rating

    4.05

  12. Squad number3Player nameBailly
    Average rating

    3.98

  13. Squad number17Player nameFred
    Average rating

    3.94

  14. Squad number2Player nameLindelöf
    Average rating

    3.68

  15. Squad number1Player namede Gea
    Average rating

    3.65

  16. Squad number10Player nameRashford
    Average rating

    3.18

Line-ups

Villarreal

Formation 4-4-2

  • 13Rulli
  • 8FoythBooked at 84minsSubstituted forPérez Martínezat 88'minutes
  • 3Albiol
  • 4Torres
  • 24PedrazaSubstituted forMorenoat 88'minutes
  • 30PinoSubstituted forAlcácerat 77'minutes
  • 25CapoueBooked at 54minsSubstituted forRabaseda Antolínat 120+3'minutes
  • 5Parejo
  • 14Trigueros MuñozSubstituted forGómez Bardonadoat 77'minutes
  • 7Moreno
  • 9BaccaSubstituted forCoquelinat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Asenjo
  • 2Pérez Martínez
  • 6Funes Mori
  • 12Rabaseda Antolín
  • 15Estupiñán
  • 17Alcácer
  • 18Moreno
  • 19Coquelin
  • 20Peña
  • 21Costa
  • 23Gómez Bardonado
  • 34Niño

Man Utd

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1de Gea
  • 29Wan-BissakaSubstituted forMataat 120+3'minutes
  • 3BaillyBooked at 82minsSubstituted forTuanzebeat 116'minutes
  • 2Lindelöf
  • 23Shaw
  • 39McTominaySubstituted forTellesat 120+3'minutes
  • 6PogbaSubstituted forJamesat 116'minutes
  • 11GreenwoodSubstituted forFredat 100'minutes
  • 18Bruno Fernandes
  • 10Rashford
  • 7CavaniBooked at 113mins

Substitutes

  • 5Maguire
  • 8Mata
  • 13Grant
  • 17Fred
  • 19Diallo
  • 21James
  • 26Henderson
  • 27Telles
  • 31Matic
  • 33Williams
  • 34van de Beek
  • 38Tuanzebe
Referee:
Clément Turpin
Attendance:
9,412

Match Stats

Home TeamVillarrealAway TeamMan Utd
Possession
Home40%
Away60%
Shots
Home12
Away14
Shots on Target
Home1
Away2
Corners
Home7
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away15

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Villarreal 1(11), Manchester United 1(10).

  2. Penalties over

    Penalty Shootout ends, Villarreal 1(11), Manchester United 1(10).

  3. Post update

    Penalty saved! David de Gea (Manchester United) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, right footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.

  4. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(11), Manchester United 1(10). Gerónimo Rulli (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

  5. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(10), Manchester United 1(10). Victor Lindelöf (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner.

  6. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(10), Manchester United 1(9). Pau Torres (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the top left corner.

  7. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(9), Manchester United 1(9). Axel Tuanzebe (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

  8. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(9), Manchester United 1(8). Mario Gaspar (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

  9. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(8), Manchester United 1(8). Luke Shaw (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  10. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(8), Manchester United 1(7). Francis Coquelin (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

  11. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(7), Manchester United 1(7). Daniel James (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

  12. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(7), Manchester United 1(6). Raúl Albiol (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  13. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(6), Manchester United 1(6). Fred (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  14. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(6), Manchester United 1(5). Moi Gómez (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the centre of the goal.

  15. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(5), Manchester United 1(5). Edinson Cavani (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  16. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(5), Manchester United 1(4). Daniel Parejo (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  17. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(4), Manchester United 1(4). Marcus Rashford (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  18. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(4), Manchester United 1(3). Alberto Moreno (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  19. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(3), Manchester United 1(3). Bruno Fernandes (Manchester United) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

  20. Post update

    Goal! Villarreal 1(3), Manchester United 1(2). Paco Alcácer (Villarreal) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

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