Manchester United are reeling from a disappointing Europa League semi-final defeat.

United bounced back from conceding an early goal, and then never kicked on.

So the inquest starts. Here is a look at three things manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got totally wrong…

(Photo by ADAM WARZAWA/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Keeping Rashford on

Marcus Rashford stayed on the pitch through reputation and not performance. He had a poor first half and did not get better in the second.

He missed a simple chance at 1-1, and even though it would have been subject to an earlier offside review, it summed up his night.

Rashford lacked energy and offered nothing during extra-time, and it was a surprise (a) to see Mason Greenwood taken off before him and (b) to see him stay on the pitch all 120 minutes.

This showed Solskjaer’s lack of faith in some of his forward options from the bench too.

Villarreal CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final
(Photo by Chris Ricco – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Too late with changes

Solskjaer was clearly caught in two minds whether to make changes to try and win the game, or whether to try and end the game with his best penalty takers on the pitch.


You could argue, if the latter was his aim, that he did an effective job, with United scoring 10 penalties.

But there was a serious lack of ambition to try and win the game, from around 70 minutes onwards for United.

Unai Emery made five changes before extra-time and helped stabilise Villarreal. Solskjaer was second to react, and United could not re-adjust.

Villarreal CF v Manchester United - UEFA Europa League Final
(Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images)

De Gea in goal for penalties

David de Gea looked like a beaten man before the penalty shootout begun.

De Gea has not saved a penalty since 2016, and he demonstrated why in the shootout.

United could have brought on Dean Henderson, who is far more confident, and would have stood a better chance.

It rubbed salt in the wound that De Gea missed the final penalty to lose United the game.

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