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Solskjaer, Man Utd stars blamed for UEL final loss

Solskjaer and two Man Utd stars blamed as Villarreal snatch Europa League title with shootout win

May 26, 2021 By Emmanuel K. Budu-Annor
The Norwegian coach and a couple of his star men have been singled out for blame after the Red Devils missed out on winning yet another final.

Manchester United fans have slammed club manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, striker Marcus Rashford and goalkeeper David de Gea for their apparent shortcomings in Wednesday night's Europa League final defeat to Villarreal. The Spanish club secured their first-ever European trophy by beating the competition's favorites in the penalty shootouts after 120 minutes of football action had ended.

A first half strike by Gerard Moreno gave Unai Emery's side the lead in the first half before Edinson Cavani restored parity in the early minutes of the second half. Shortly after, Marcus Rashford had a golden opportunity to fire the Red Devils in front but made a mess of the chance and missed from close range.

The English striker who had been a shadow of himself all game long latched onto Bruno Fernandes' pass from the right after being through on goal. Although initial sentiments were that the Portuguese playmaker was offside, the linesman kept his flag down before Rashford made a poor connection with the ball to put it wide with Villarreal goalkeeper Rulli being the only man standing between him and the gaping goalpost.

A series of chances came the way of Solskjaer's men but they will live to rue their inefficiency with the game being forced into extra-time after the stalemates in the regulation time. Ultimately, the European cup final was decided on penalties and after 21 kicks had been taken by the two sides, David De Gea handed Villarreal the trophy by under-hitting his attempt. Having failed to save any of the kicks he faced, he sent a rather tame shot to the right and the ball was calmly gathered by Rulli, sparking celebrations in the camp of the Yellow Submarines.

The result meant that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has now lost four semi-finals and one final since taking over the club in 2018. The Norwegian coach, who is yet to secure his first title with Manchester United, came under massive scrutiny following the conclusion of the game with a section of the fans calling for his imminent sack for his 'poor management' skill. Here are a few reactions after the Red Devils' calamitous ending in the Europa League final:

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