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source:77 games 2021-6-4

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﹛﹛Villareal prevailed on spot-kicks 10-11 after epic shootout went to sudden deathDavid De Gea’s penalty saved after the other 21 players converted from the spotGerard Moreno’s close-range finish on the half-hour mark gave Villarreal the lead at half-timeEdinson Cavani’s strike 10 minutes after the break drew United levelVillarreal’s win is the club’s first major European honourUnai Emery has now won the competition four times from six final appearances

﹛﹛David De Gea and Villarreal

﹛﹛Heartbreak and ecstasy: David De Gea suffers as Villarreal win the Europa League (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛It proved to be a long night in Gdansk as Manchester United laboured through 90 minutes and extra time, then agonisingly lost out on penalties after a remarkable shootout.

﹛﹛The fallout will continue, with talk about the culture at the club, the need for investment, and possibly debate over Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s role in the club moving forward, sure to dominate the days ahead.

﹛﹛United finished second in the Premier League and runners-up in the UEFA Europa League after being eliminated from the UEFA Champions League. Now the attention will turn to the United board and ownership, as a host of the club’s legends call for major investment and shrewd transfer business this summer in a bid to take the Old Trafford club back to the top of English football.

﹛﹛Don’t forget to check out Express Sport’s football section for comprehensive coverage and reaction from tonight’s game, and ongoing coverage as we build up to the UEFA Champions League final this weekend, and Euro 2020 later this summer.

﹛﹛11:40pm: Following United’s Europa League final defeat, thoughts have immediately turned to what could, and should, be next for the Old Trafford club as they look to strengthen in the summer transfer window.

﹛﹛Rio Ferdinand said it was essential that the club goes big in the summer window to not just bring in top players, but bring in the right type of personalities to fit the Manchester United mould.

﹛﹛”This window is massive, it*s a massive window for Man United now,” he said.

﹛﹛”The recruitment team, the owners, the CEO, the manager, the staff need to go out and recruit the right players that fit the bill, to take this team from getting to finals and can*t get over the line, to finishing the job.

﹛﹛”It needs to be the right people, the right characters, and good enough players that add value to this team.

﹛﹛”For instance, we always talk about (Virgil) Van Dijk being the catalyst for Liverpool over the last few years. What had he won in England before? He was at Southampton, they weren*t fighting for titles or in Europe.

﹛﹛”It*s the right characters, the right people who fit the team, the right profile to take you on and make the team better.”

﹛﹛ Man Utd star Bruno Fernandes in tears after Villarreal win

﹛﹛ Paul Scholes has huge concern about Man Utd players and Solskjaer

﹛﹛11:30pm: Fellow United legend Paul Scholes questioned the competitive fire of some of United’s players as he suggested the culture of winning had ebbed away from Old Trafford in recent years.

﹛﹛”It*s difficult to come out of that game and give them credit. They weren*t very good tonight, they*ll hold their hands up, the manager will hold his hands up. But overall, there*s been progress,” he said.

﹛﹛”The thing I worry about, does losing hurt them enough? As a United player, when you lose games, look at the last three or four weeks – they*ve lost games, does it really hurt? It*s almost become an accepted thing.

﹛﹛”From Ole*s point of view, where*s the demands on him? I don*t think they*ll be saying you have to win a trophy or you*re gone. He*s made progress, which is progress from the last three or four years, but if you go back further, then clearly not, because this club expects to win trophies.

﹛﹛”If it gets into next year, the next couple of years, and it*s still nothing, then look, he might have a problem. But for now, I don*t think those demands are quite there on him where he has to win.

﹛﹛”I think there*s a lot of players it doesn*t really hurt. You look at Bruno Fernandes, Cavani, people who have great experience, they won*t like it, of course they won*t. They*re the ones that look to me as if they*re proper hurting.

﹛﹛”The others, sometimes it can look a little bit acceptable. Even from the manager sometimes it looks a little bit acceptable. United have almost become a nice club that people like.”

﹛﹛ Man Utd player ratings vs Villarreal: Two poor as United lose on pens

﹛﹛ What Man Utd striker Edinson Cavani shouted at Bruno Fernandes

﹛﹛11:28pm: Ferdinand said that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure at United has shown gradual improvement, but his side missed out on a chance to make a big statement about where they’re heading.

﹛﹛”If you look at it as a whole season, they*ve improved from where they were last season. You can see that they*re going in the right direction slowly, but surely,” he said.

﹛﹛”This was an opportunity to form a winning culture at the football club. That was the test tonight and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team failed, you have to put it bluntly – it*s a fact.

﹛﹛”You*re trying to build a winning culture, you*re trying to create an environment when you can see the players becoming that unit, that team, accustomed to playing in these situations.

﹛﹛”If you get to the final, you*re there to win it, that*s it, and if you don*t, to be brutal about it, it*s a failure in that sense.”

﹛﹛Rio Ferdinand

﹛﹛Transfer challenge: Rio Ferdinand said United need to have a “massive” summer in the transfer market (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛11:16pm: “Manchester United have relied on individuals throughout the season to come up with the trump cards, in critical moments in the games,” said Rio Ferdinand, who highlighted below-par performances from United’s most potent attacking stars.

﹛﹛”Bruno has been the man they*ve leaned on, Cavani, Mason sometimes, Marcus, but today they never came up with the goods.

﹛﹛”In the final third, they didn*t take enough chances, they didn*t risk enough, the imagination wasn*t there, the creativity today.

﹛﹛”It*s not been too many occasions where you can say that, that one of them hasn*t stepped up and produced.

﹛﹛”They had a spell after Cavani scored and you thought they had the momentum and were going to go on and take the game by the scruff of the neck, but they didn*t.”

﹛﹛ Man Utd legend Paul Scholes singles out Marcus Rashford during final

﹛﹛ Rio Ferdinand explains big reason Man Utd lost Europa League final

﹛﹛11:05pm: Bruno Fernandes is on the field in tears after United agonisingly lost out after one of the most epic penalty shootouts in recent memory.

﹛﹛In the end, it came down to a duel between the two goalkeepers, and Villarreal’s Geronimo Rulli had the upper hand as he tucked away his spot-kick, then saved De Gea’s weakly-hit effort to seal victory for the La Liga side.

﹛﹛It means Villarreal have captured their first major European honour, while boss Unai Emery continues his incredible record in the competition.

﹛﹛Emery has won the Europa League an incredible four times from six finals in his career.

﹛﹛BT Sport pundit Rio Ferdinand paid tribute to Emery’s managerial nous in the competition, saying, “Tactically I think Unai Emery got it spot-on.

﹛﹛”Cavani thrives with space behind defenders, but they didn*t allow space behind today at all.

﹛﹛”Bruno was nullified, closed down at all times. There was no space for people like Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford to get in behind with their movement and anticipation.

﹛﹛”It was never there today. You have to give credit to Unai Emery for that, because tactically he got it spot-on.”

﹛﹛David De Gea penalty miss

﹛﹛Winning moment: Geromino Rulli saves David De Gea’s spot-kick (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛Devastation for David De Gea

﹛﹛A penalty shoot-out that went all the way to the goalkeepers, but it was Villarreal that came out on top in the end…

﹛﹛What a dramatic ending! #UELfinal pic.twitter.com/9kmoi6lCEa

﹛﹛〞 Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2021

﹛﹛Villarreal will take the first spot-kick, with the kicks taking place in front of the Villarreal fans.

﹛﹛Villareal: Gerard Moreno SCORES – 0-1Man Utd: Juan Mata SCORES – 1-1Villareal: Rabaseda Antol赤n SCORES – 1-2Man Utd: Alex Telles SCORES – 2-2Villarreal: Paco Alcacer SCORES – 2-3Man Utd: Bruno Fernandes SCORES – 3-3Villarreal: Alberto Moreno SCORES – 3-4Man Utd: Marcus Rashford SCORES – 4-4Villarreal: Dani Parejo SCORES – 4-5Man Utd: Edinson Cavani SCORES – 5-5 – WE GO TO SUDDEN DEATHVillarreal: G車mez Bardonado SCORES- 5-6Man Utd: Fred SCORES – 6-6Villarreal: Raul Albiol SCORES – 6-7Man Utd: Daniel James SCORES – 7-7Villarreal: Francis Coquelin SCORES – 7-8Man Utd: Luke Shaw SCORES – 8-8Villarreal: Mario Gaspar SCORES – 8-9Man Utd: Axel Tuanzebe SCORES – 9-9Villarreal: Pau Torres SCORES – 9-10Man Utd: Victor Lindelof SCORES – 10-10 – EVERY OUTFIELD PLAYER HAS SCORED, NOW FOR THE KEEPERS…Villarreal: Geronimo Rulli SCORES – 10-11Man Utd: David De Gea SAVED by Rulli! – 10-11 – VILLARREAL WIN THE UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE

﹛﹛IT IS ALL OVER – IT GOES TO PENALTIES!

﹛﹛120+3 mins: Right at the end of stoppage time in extra time, Solskjaer makes his final rolls of the dice as he replaces Scott McTominay and Aaron Wan-Bissaka with Alex Telles and Juan Mata. Both look certain to be called upon for the penalty shootout, which is surely just seconds away.

﹛﹛114 mins: Surprisingly, Rashford is back on after receiving treatment on the sidelines, but James is still introduced as Paul Pogba is subbed off.

﹛﹛Edinson Cavani argues his way into the referee’s notebook after play is finally stopped following an injury to Scott McTominay, whose performance has been one of the few bright spots of United’s display tonight.

﹛﹛Meanwhile, VAR checked for a possible penalty after a Gerardo Moreno shot hit Fred’s arm, but it happened at point-blank range and the video official ruled against giving a spot-kick.

﹛﹛And Solskjaer makes another change, as Eric Bailly is replaced by Axel Tuanzebe.

﹛﹛110 mins: In a development that is sure to concern England manager Gareth Southgate, Marcus Rashford has limped off and Daniel James is getting ready. It’s unclear exactly what happened to the United and England striker, but the way Rashford pounded the turf in frustration at his apparent injury may signal something worse than just cramp.

﹛﹛Cross your fingers it’s nothing serious, or Southgate could be without a crucial striking option at Euro 2020.

﹛﹛Manchester United substitutions

﹛﹛Last-gasp subs: Juan Mata and Alex Telles come on for the penalty shoot-out (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛100 mins: FINALLY, A UNITED CHANGE – It’s taken him 100 minutes, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has finally decided to make a substitution, as he replaces Mason Greenwood with Fred.

﹛﹛It will almost certainly mean United revert to their more familiar lineup, and will free Paul Pogba to operate further up the field while adding another defensively-minded presence in the middle of the park. Will it prove to be a decisive change?

﹛﹛95 mins: Villarreal have played all their cards. All five of their subs are on. By contrast, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has yet to call on anyone from the United bench.

﹛﹛With legs starting to get weary, the United boss is sticking with his starting XI, but how long will that continue? The pace has dropped, and one slip could be crucial.

﹛﹛It’s tight and tense in Gdansk. Who’s going to be a hero?

﹛﹛Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Manchester United team

﹛﹛Rallying the troops: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gives his pre-extra-time team talk (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛90 mins: WE GO TO EXTRA TIME! – After a very nervy final few minutes, the Europa League final will go to extra time.

﹛﹛It hasn’t been a stellar final, by any means, with both sides lacking real quality in the final third and both goals coming from close range after static defending. Now it’s down to which side has the legs, and the nerve, to prevail in the additional half-hour. If we don’t get a winner, you know what comes next 每 penalties.

﹛﹛85 mins: It’s what a certain former United boss might refer to as “squeaky bum time” in Gdansk.

﹛﹛With the clock running down and the possibility of extra time looming, both sides know a goal at this stage could be decisive, so it’s a case of whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Unai Emery want to stick or twist in the final minutes of normal time.

﹛﹛Solskjaer’s no stranger to last-gasp European goals, is he?

﹛﹛Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

﹛﹛Feeling the tension: Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer contemplates extra-time (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛70 mins: ANOTHER CHANCE! – Edinson Cavani could be celebrating a Europa League final double, but for the intervention of the man strongly linked with a move to United later this summer.

﹛﹛Cavani’s powerful header looked to be goalbound, but Pau Torres was in the right place at the right time to block the Uruguayan’s effort.

﹛﹛United are back on top, and pushing for a second.

﹛﹛68 mins: GOLDEN CHANCE WASTED! – Marcus Rashford has missed an absolute sitter for Manchester United.

﹛﹛The tireless Edinson Cavani raced away down the right flank and crossed perfectly for Rashford, who tried to produce a subtle tough to wrong-foot the outrushing keeper.

﹛﹛But instead he failed to make the right contact and a golden opportunity to go ahead bobbled apologetically past the post.

﹛﹛Will United come to rue that missed chance?

﹛﹛Happened to be filming the United bench when they scored. Love Fred*s energy. @btsportfootball pic.twitter.com/jbJmJGHjfP

﹛﹛〞 Archie Rhind-Tutt (@archiert1) May 26, 2021

﹛﹛Edinson Cavani

﹛﹛Game on in Gdansk: Edinson Cavani celebrates his equaliser (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛55: GOAL FOR MANCHESTER UNITED! – Edinson Cavani strikes as the Uruguayan hitman fires United level with a close-range finish after Marcus Rashford’s long-range effort is deflected his way.

﹛﹛There’s a VAR check to make sure he was onside and, after a nervous wait, the official rules the goal is good, and United are on level terms.

﹛﹛54 mins: Etienne Capoue goes into the book for a challenge on Bruno Fernandes, who is getting a little frustrated with how things are progressing so far.

﹛﹛The Portuguese hasn’t been his usual influential self tonight, but his quality can always conjure up a chance.

﹛﹛EDINSON CAVANI!

﹛﹛That man delivers a crucial goal once again!

﹛﹛Right place, right time. Man Utd are level! #UELfinal pic.twitter.com/1HIV3rtUEg

﹛﹛〞 Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2021

﹛﹛Edinson Cavani

﹛﹛Frustrating night: Edinson Cavani has had precious little service from his United teammates so far (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛HALF-TIME: Paul Scholes is preaching patience ahead of a huge second half for Manchester United’s season.

﹛﹛”They need to be a little bit more patient. Marcus Rashford, especially,” he said.

﹛﹛”He needs to stay out on that left-hand side, the ball will come to him eventually. So many times he*s coming inside, his first touch hasn*t been good, he*s running into people.

﹛﹛”Just stay out there, be patient, and your chances will come.”

﹛﹛HALF-TIME: MANCHESTER UNITED 0-1 VILLARREAL – A frustrating 45 minutes for United and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

﹛﹛So far, his ploy of loading the team with attacking talent hasn’t produced fireworks on the pitch as the team has struggled to operate in a cohesive manner.

﹛﹛The build-up play has been slow and laboured, and United’s strikers have been well-shackled by Villarreal’s back line, including United transfer target Pau Torres. In all, United enjoyed a whopping 69% of the possession the opening 45 minutes, but could only muster one shot on target in that first half.

﹛﹛Gerard Moreno’s strike won’t make any “great European final goals” highlight reels, but his close-range finish past David De Gea has given his side a priceless lead at the break.

﹛﹛The big question now is what will Solskjaer do from here? Most of his attacking talent is already on the pitch. Could we see Fred introduced and a return to the system that helped get them to the final? Watch this space.

﹛﹛45 mins: Marcus Rashford switches flanks and cuts through the Villarreal defence like a hot knife through butter, but his final delivery can’t find a United shirt.

﹛﹛Mason Greenwood almost had better luck, but his cross deflected straight into the grateful arms of Villarreal keeper Geronimo Rulli.

﹛﹛40 mins: United are enjoying plenty of possession, but there isn’t much pace in their work, and they’re not creating any clear-cut chances.

﹛﹛Edinson Cavani is getting frustrated with a lack of service, as Villarreal’s compact back line seems happy to give the United players room out wide, but crowds them out when they cut inside.

﹛﹛Villarreal have the lead in the #UELfinal!

﹛﹛Gerard Moreno strikes once again for his 30th goal of the season pic.twitter.com/9rWa0wNdAl

﹛﹛〞 Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2021

﹛﹛30 mins: GOAL FOR VILLAREAL! – Despite an encouraging start by United, it’s Villarreal who break the deadlock, as a deep free-kick goes all the way to Gerard Moreno, who stabs home from about 10 yards out to give the La Liga side the lead.

﹛﹛They’ve gradually played their way into the game, and now they’re ahead. How will United respond?

﹛﹛20-23 mins: ANOTHER CHANCE! – United continue to pressure Villarreal and a low cross from Luke Shaw had the La Liga side in big trouble. But despite the quality of the delivery, no United man could get on the end of it, with Bruno Fernandes unable to apply a finishing touch. Villareal then go straight up the other end and teenager Yeremi Pino has a shot deflected over.

﹛﹛The Spanish side keeps the pressure on and a cheeky rabona cross from Carlos Bacca leads to a header off-target. It’s their first real attacking spell of the game and a timely reminder that United need to mind their P’s and Q’s at the back.

﹛﹛Gerard Moreno

﹛﹛Goalscorer: Gerardo Moreno broke the deadlock from close range on 30 minutes (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛ Remember the name!

﹛﹛ Yeremi Pino (18 years, 218 days) becomes the youngest ever Spanish player to start a major European final, breaking the previous record held by Iker Casillas (19 years, 4 days).#UELfinal pic.twitter.com/Rcx42lIoXC

﹛﹛〞 UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) May 26, 2021

﹛﹛7 mins: FIRST CHANCE FOR UNITED – Marcus Rashford cuts in from the left and, with Cavani crowded out in the centre, the England man lays it back for Scott McTominay, who shanks his effort wide.

﹛﹛With respect to the midfield man, he’s probably pretty low down on the list of United stars you’d want getting a chance like that, but United’s pressure is already causing Villarreal problems.

﹛﹛Encouraging signs early on for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.

﹛﹛5 mins: We’re five minutes in and Villarreal have barely left their half. United are pressing, with Paul Pogba already noticeably involved as he picks up the ball and starts spraying it around. His performance tonight will likely be crucial to United’s success.

﹛﹛0 mins: We’re off and underway in Gdansk. For kit aficionados, both sides are in their first-choice colours. No corporate away-kit flogging here. United in red, Villarreal in yellow.

﹛﹛ Manchester United &working on Cristiano Ronaldo transfer since April*

﹛﹛ Paul Pogba drops hint over Man Utd future as Solskjaer sent message

﹛﹛7:45pm: The BT Sport pundits have been waxing lyrical about the performances of Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani ahead of tonight’s final.

﹛﹛Former United and Bayern Munich midfielder Owen Hargreaves hailed his contribution, both in terms of goals and as a leader in the dressing room.

﹛﹛”In his career, 420 goals for club and country, 420. Those numbers are absolutely off the charts,” he enthused.

﹛﹛”He*s a goal scorer, but he*s one of the most humble. He works from the front, he presses, he*s a great mentor to Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood – him on a free is unbelievable business.”

﹛﹛Rio Ferdinand concurred, saying, “He does what all the great Manchester United centre-forwards down the years do.

﹛﹛”They do both sides of the game, they work for the team, but when they*re around these areas, they come alive and they*re clinical.

﹛﹛”To play in a team when you*ve got a player you know does as much work as that, the appreciation you have for a player is huge.

﹛﹛”You know that at any point in the game, he*s always in the game, he never switches off. Any moment, he*s on the money.”

﹛﹛Edinson Cavani

﹛﹛Significant contribution: Edinson Cavani’s role at Manchester United has been widely praised (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛7:38pm: Former Manchester United striker Dion Dublin said he was puzzled by the inclusion of Harry Maguire on the United bench for tonight’s Europa League final,

﹛﹛Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Dublin labelled the decision as “odd,” as Maguire was considered fit enough to be on the bench, but not in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s starting XI.

﹛﹛”I really don’t understand why Harry Maguire is on the bench – you’re either fit or you’re not,” he said.

﹛﹛”That is the mindset of a player. It is an odd one for me.

﹛﹛”It is OK to have him around, but I don’t understand the bench situation.

﹛﹛”Verbally, he can very important in the dressing room, but the physical side, if you’re not fit to start, then there isn’t any way you can come on and go really hell for leather.

﹛﹛”I*m gutted really because I think he is a big part of Man Utd’s defence and getting over the line.

﹛﹛”Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof, I don’t think will put fear into any strikers.”

﹛﹛Harry Maguire

﹛﹛On the bench: Harry Maguire won’t start in Gdansk, but is considered fit enough to be a substitute (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛7:07pm: Rio Ferdinand agreed with Scholes’ assessment of the United goalkeeper position, with De Gea getting the nod over Henderson.

﹛﹛”I think sometimes, a point in your career, you need to be given a little shock,” he said.

﹛﹛”I think David De Gea fell out of form, and sometimes – no matter who you are – you can be player of the year four times in the last five or six years, so he was sitting pretty, he was almost an untouchable.

﹛﹛”But then sometimes your standard drops, you do need that shock. Get out of the team, sit down and watch, and then you regroup again.

﹛﹛”I think that*s what the situation with him was – and like Scholesy said, Henderson didn*t come in and grab the chance.”

﹛﹛ Paul Pogba and Man Utd agree on midfielder’s future ahead of final

﹛﹛ Man Utd likely to discuss five signings after Villarreal final

﹛﹛7:00pm: Scholes also weighed in on Solskjaer’s decision to go with De Gea in goal, instead of Henderson.

﹛﹛”I think it*s the right call to go with the experience,” he stated.

﹛﹛”I thought De Gea was left out of the team at the right time, I thought it was the time to give Henderson a chance. Has he taken that chance? I*m not sure he has.

﹛﹛”In the first couple of games, he looked nice and safe, nice and controlled, since then he*s looked a little bit shaky to me.

﹛﹛”David coming back in the team, I think he*s been excellent, you think of the Roma game away, he could have easily conceded five or six goals, but he was brilliant on the night.

﹛﹛”I*m glad he*s playing, he*s still, I don*t know what Ole thinks, but I still think he*s the number one.”

﹛﹛Paul Scholes

﹛﹛Happy with De Gea: Paul Scholes agreed with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s goalkeeper decision (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛6:55pm: Paul Scholes has given his take on Solskjaer’s team selection ahead of tonight’s final.

﹛﹛”It*s not something he*s done all season. He has played two holding midfielders in there to protect the back two 每 Maguire and Lindelof. It*s Bailly in there tonight.

﹛﹛”He*s gone for the experience and he*s chosen to play just one holding player, with Pogba next to him.

﹛﹛”It*s a very attacking team, it*s something me and Owen were calling for in the last few games of the season, maybe to evolve the team a little bit and it*s a big night.

﹛﹛”Pogba has to be very disciplined in that role – almost the role he plays for France – can he do that? We*ll have to wait and see.

﹛﹛”I think his best football, Pogba, has been on the left-hand side, so Ole had a big decision to make – does he play Pogba or Rashford and leave Fred in there?

﹛﹛”He*s decided to take Fred out of it and take the risk of playing Paul in there.”

﹛﹛

﹛﹛Presenting our final starting line-up of the season ?#MUFC | #UELfinal

﹛﹛〞 Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 26, 2021

﹛﹛6:50pm: The Manchester United team is in, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has made two changes to the team that took on Fulham on the last game of the Premier League season.

﹛﹛Marcus Rashford is in, and will look to provide support for Mason Greenwood from the left flank.

﹛﹛Paul Pogba is selected in midfield, while David De Gea gets the nod over Dean Henderson between the sticks.

﹛﹛ Paul Pogba and Man Utd agree on midfielder’s future ahead of final

﹛﹛ Manchester United &working on Cristiano Ronaldo transfer since April*

﹛﹛6:35pm: Solskjaer’s love for United is beyond doubt. His tenure at Old Trafford as a player saw him achieve cult-like status as, often from the bench, he popped up with crucial goals.

﹛﹛None were more crucial than his Champions League winner for United on “That night in Barcelona” in 1999.

﹛﹛And Solskjaer’s passion for the Red Devils remains as strong as ever ahead of tonight’s final.

﹛﹛”This is the best club in the world,” he said.

﹛﹛”That’s the pleasure and the pressure of Manchester United. That’s something the players are ready for. They wouldn’t have signed here if they weren’t top players.

﹛﹛”These are big nights for us. It might be the stepping stone for a big future.

﹛﹛”This group of players has been working for a year and a half together. The next step for them is to enjoy a game like this – I’ve seen something growing inside of the players.”

﹛﹛6:28pm: United boss Solskjaer said: “Manchester United has meant a lot to me throughout my life as well. Of course, to be able to lead the team out in a final is going to be a proud moment for me.

﹛﹛”To get to a final is one thing, when you get to a final you need to win it, or you want to win it. You don*t get a prize for attending. We’re all focused and I can’t wait to see the players walk out on that pitch.”

﹛﹛Villarreal boss Emery said: “We deserve to be here. We*re proud and pleased with our UEFA Europa League journey. We*ve been serious and reliable during the whole tournament.

﹛﹛”The competition has rewarded that good work. We were first in the group stage and we have reached the final.”

﹛﹛ Manchester United receive Raphael Varane transfer boost ahead of final

﹛﹛ Man Utd owners the Glazers &hold talks* over stunning Ronaldo return

﹛﹛6:20pm: Tonight’s game is being shown live on BT Sport, but did you know that you can also watch tonight’s match WITHOUT a BT Sport subscription?

﹛﹛Due to the terms of BT’s deal, BT Sport also live-streams the event via their YouTube channel, though they don’t make too much of a fuss about it, as they’d prefer you had a paid subscription.

﹛﹛For everything you need to know, click here.

﹛﹛As a little heads-up for later, this is also the case with the UEFA Champions League, so if you’re not a BT Sport subscriber, YouTube is your new friend for a fully legal live stream, for free!

﹛﹛6:18pm: If that XI is proved accurate, it would mean that Harry Maguire and Dean Henderson are both set to miss out.

﹛﹛Maguire has been absent for United since their stirring 3-1 win over Aston Villa last month, with the England international in a race against time to be fit.

﹛﹛He didn*t look comfortable when training on Tuesday, sitting and watching on from the sidelines as his team-mates were put through their paces by Solskjaer and his coaching staff.

﹛﹛We’re expecting to get the official team news shortly after BT Sport go to air at 6:30pm.

﹛﹛ Paul Pogba and Man Utd agree on midfielder’s future ahead of final

﹛﹛ Manchester United &working on Cristiano Ronaldo transfer since April*

﹛﹛6:15pm: The pre-match intrigue started early when Manchester United fan and United We Stand podcaster Mark Goldbridge claimed to have been given Solskjaer’s starting XI for tonight’s clash.

﹛﹛He tweeted to state that he’s been told “by two people” in the know what Solskjaer’s starting lineup will look like.

﹛﹛He tweeted: “De Gea, AWB, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw, McFred, Bruno, Pogba, Rashford, Cavani is what I have heard from two people.”

﹛﹛Goldbridge did admit, however, that “Ole does like a fake leak though.”

﹛﹛6:10pm: Solskjaer explained his ethos ahead of tonight’s final during yesterday’s pre-match press conference.

﹛﹛”Trust your team, trust your gut instinct,” he said.

﹛﹛”I’ll tell the subs that aren’t starting that they might have to play a big part from us. It’s happened before.”

﹛﹛And he said he wants those who he has left out of the starting XI to have a chip on their shoulder and use that as motivation to produce something special if they’re called upon during the course of tonight’s final.

﹛﹛”Be disappointed, be angry with me,” he urged.

﹛﹛”But be ready when you come on. And, whoever starts, make sure you enjoy it, because you don’t play too many finals in your life.”

﹛﹛ Man Utd must do what Liverpool and Arsenal could not vs Villarreal

﹛﹛ Man Utd vs Villarreal free live stream: How to watch for nothing

﹛﹛6:05pm: Can Ole summon up the spirit of ’99? Solskjaer was the hero for United back in 1999 when he stabbed home from close range to seal UEFA Champions League glory for United against Bayern Munich in Barcelona.

﹛﹛And now the United boss is hoping a little of that European final magic will rub off on his players tonight as they take on Villarreal in Poland.

﹛﹛Speaking ahead of tonight’s final, Solskjaer stressed the importance of the whole squad buying in to the occasion, regardless of whether they were in the starting XI or on the subs’ bench.

﹛﹛And the Norwegian said he would put his trust in his charges to go out and perform to their best ability in the biggest game of his tenure as United boss.

﹛﹛Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

﹛﹛Man Utd boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in relaxed mood ahead of kick-off in Gdansk (Image: GETTY)

﹛﹛6:00pm: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to Express Sport’s live coverage of the UEFA Europa League final as Manchester United have the chance to finish their season on a high when they take on Villarreal in Gdansk.

﹛﹛It’s an opportunity for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to secure his first trophy as Manchester United boss as he goes head to head with former Arsenal head coach Unai Emery, with both managers heading into tonight’s clash with a point to prove.

﹛﹛It’s shaping up to be an entertaining clash in Poland, but who’ll walk away with the silverware after tonight’s final? Follow the action with us and we’ll keep you bang up to date.

﹛﹛We’ll bring you live updates, right here, throughout the night.

﹛﹛Check out BT Sport’s live coverage of tonight’s final right here, via the broadcaster’s YouTube channel, which is live-streaming the match, for free, to UK viewers.

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