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Solskjaer explains his decision on the Europa League penalty shootout defeat.

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Solskjaer explains his decision on the Europa League penalty shootout defeat.

Solskjaer explains his decision on the Europa League penalty shootout defeat.

Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer alleges that he did opt to replace David de Gea for Dean Henderson ahead of Manchester United’s penalty shootout loss to Villarreal.

De Gea has an infamously cheap penalty history and has now allowed the last 40 he has faced in regulation time and penalty shootouts for United and Spain after Villarreal won 11-10 on spot-kicks in the Europa League final.

The Spaniard has not saved a penalty for the Red Devils since the denial of Everton striker Romelu Lukaku in the 2016 FA Cup semi-final, while Henderson impeded Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus from 12 yards while on loan at Sheffield United last season. Henderson also stopped penalties in the 2019 Under-21 European Championship and the 2018 League One Play-off final.

In a memorable event, Louis van Gaal memorably substituted Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen with Tim Krul for the 2014 World Cup shootout against Costa Rica that the Dutch won 4-2, with Krul saving two penalties.

But instead of opting for goalkeeper change, Solskjaer sent on Alex Telles and Juan Mata – his final two replacements in added time – to take penalties.

“You go through every scenario, of course,” Solskjaer explained. “And it had crossed my mind in the build-up to the game but we were confident in David and prepared.

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“Anything can happen in a penalty shootout. I stuck with the ‘keeper who played all of the game.

“I’ve got to say the penalty shootout was high quality, but we didn’t do enough in the 120 minutes to score more goals and that’s the disappointing bit.

“We had pressure, we had moments where we felt if we can just kick on a little bit now we can get a goal. But we just couldn’t.”

Bruno Fernandes, United’s captain in the absenteeism of the sidelined Harry Maguire, seemed to choose for the team to go second in the shootout when the majority of sides who go first win.

“I’ve not asked Bruno who won the toss,” Solskjaer added. “I let him get on with it, we had penalty-takers with confidence, we made some changes to get them on and take the penalties.

“Just couldn’t stop them scoring.”

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Solskjaer explains his decision on the Europa League penalty shootout defeat.

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