Manchester United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer still wait for their first trophy after David De Gea saw his spot-kick saved at the end of a wild shootout that saw Villarreal crowned Europa League champions.
With the game poised at 1-1 after extra-time, United goalkeeper David de Gea missed the decisive penalty after all previous 21 penalties had been scored, including Gerónimo Rulli (goal keeper).
Gerard Moreno’s opener in the first half was Cancelled by Edinson Cavani in the second half of the game.
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Unai Emery’s side which took the lead just inside the half-hour mark when Gerard Moreno connected with Dani Parejo’s free-kick. The first goal scored between these two sides after their previous encounters produced four goalless draws.
That was Moreno’s 30th goal of the season and saw Villarreal lead at halftime, although United almost equalized before the end of the half when Mason Greenwood’s cross was deflected off defender Raúl Albiol and into the hands of Rulli.
Cavani levelled early in the second half after Marcus Rashford’s volley fell kindly for him from close range. Despite enjoying more chances throughout the second half, United was unable to take the lead, with the match ending 1-1. The game went to penalties after an uneventful extra-time.
The penalty shootout, however, did provide drama.
The teams went toe-to-toe throughout before De Gea’s penalty was saved by Rulli, handing Villarreal a 1-1 (11-10) victory.
All outfield players scored their spot-kicks, as did Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli before saving De Gea’s penalty to win the shootout 11-10 and secure the first major trophy in their history.
Villarreal defended stubbornly throughout the game, presenting United with few scoring opportunities. United were the favorite to win the final having finished second in this season’s English Premier League, while Villarreal finished seventh in Spain’s La Liga.
It was the sixth time in the past eight competitions that a Spanish side has won the Europa League, European football’s second-tier competition.
The dramatic conclusion in Gdansk, Poland, also handed Villarreal coach Unai Emery a fourth Europa League trophy after he won three consecutive titles with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016.