Manchester United lost to Villarreal in the Europa League final and the Red Devils have now gone trophy-less for four consecutive seasons.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s wait for his first title as Manchester United manager goes on. United lost to Villarreal in the Europa League final on Wednesday. The Red Devils were beaten 11-10 on penalties after the teams finished at 1-1 after 120 minutes. David De Gea missed the only penalty in the shootout as the Yellow Submarines lifted their first major trophy. Unai Emery won his fourth Europa League title and became the most successful manager in the history of the competition.
“We didn’t turn up,” he told BT Sport after the match.
“We didn’t play as well as we can do – we started alright and they scored from their only shot on target. But it was disappointing to concede a goal on a set play.
“We pushed and pressed and got the goal. But after we scored we couldn’t control the game and dominate the way which we wanted.
“They made it hard for us by closing the spaces. We had the majority of the possession and they defended well. We didn’t create enough big chances.
“Now isn’t the time to put the finger on what I would have done differently but when you don’t come away with the trophy you’ve not done everything right.
“We are getting closer and closer [to winning titles] we were one kick away today from having a trophy. But we’ve got to have the desire to come back next year and improve. The only way to get the margins in your side is to work harder and better.”
Manchester United finished second in the Premier League this season behind Manchester City and finished in the top four for the second consecutive season for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.
But for the first time since 1980s United have gone trophy-less for four consecutive seasons. There previous title triumph was in 2017 Europa League final.
“We need to get better, simple as. We’ve done really well this season to come through a difficult start and no pre-season, losing three of the first six games,” he said.
We pushed in the league and got closer to the top than we thought at that point. And we got to a final but you need to win these finals to make it a good season
“We, who are here now, need to do better, work better, harder, cleverer. But two or three players to strengthen the starting XI and the squad altogether is important for us to go even further. I’m sure our challengers will also want to improve, so we’ll improve as much as we can.”
Solksjaer further added he was disappointed Manchester United didn’t win the game before the shootout.
“We didn’t do enough in the 120 minutes to score more goals. That’s the disappointing bit.
“You’ve got players of high quality there, and we started with loads of goal scorers, match-winners, and hoped it would give us the upper hand.
“That disappointment is the worst feeling, these are the moments you remember most in your career, as a player and as a manager.
“You can go on your holiday and do nothing about it, or go home and do something about it, and come back even better, hungrier, stronger, and be better from the first minute.