The Europa League final went to a penalty shootout, but Red Devils goalkeeper De Gea failed to save any of Villarreal’s spotkicks to see United defeated by Unai Emery’s side
According to Mail, David De Gea ignored the crucial instruction on his penalty notes that would have won the Europa League for Manchetser United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side struggled to break down their Villarreal opponents, with Unai Emery’s side opening the scoring 16 minutes before half-time.
Gerard Moreno drifted past the United defenders to convert Dani Parejo’s free-kick, though the Red Devils did dominate after the break.
They equalised 10 minutes into the second-half when Marcus Rashford’s shot was diverted into the path of Edinson Cavani who slotted the ball in.
Neither side could find a breakthrough for the rest of the 90 minutes, with game going into extra-time.
That again failed to find a winner, with Unai Emery’s men forcing the final into a penalty shootout.Before the shootout took place, the Spanish keeper could be seen talking to United goalkeeping coaches Richard Hartis and Craig Mawson.
The coaches also handed him a note to stick inside his towel which gave an indication of which way each Villarreal penalty taker would go.
Goalscorer Moreno stepped up first, though De Gea had no instructions for which side the striker would put the ball.He then followed the instructions exactly for the next three penalty takers, though each player scored.
When Parejo stepped up, De Gea partially followed his instructions, but dived too late to stop the midfielder’s spot kick going in.
The shootout then entered sudden death, meaning one save could have been enough to win the final had United’s taker scored their penalty.
Moi Gomez stepped up to take Villarreal’s first spotkick of sudden death, with De Gea’s instructions informing him the Spaniard would go central.
The United keeper chose to ignore them, instead diving to his left, but had he followed the notes though, he would have saved it as Gomez put his penalty straight down the middle.
Crucially, had he stayed central instead of diving, United would have won the Europa League, as Fred scored United’s first penalty of sudden death.
He again followed the notes when Villarreal captain Raul Albiol stepped up, but the defender went the opposite way to the notes.
De Gea opted to ignore his instructions when Francis Coquelin took his penalty, but it did not matter with the midfielder going high to the keeper’s left rather than centrally.
The Red Devils star almost made a crucial save when Mario Gaspar made the long walk from the halfway line, but his hand was not strong enough to keep the penalty out of the net.
Despite the 30-year-old also ignoring his notes when Pau Torres took Villarreal’s 10 th penalty of the shootout, he did go the right way, though the defender put his spotkick high into the net.
There were no instructions when Gerónimo Rulli stepped up, with the Villarreal keeper blasting his high to De Gea’s left.
That meant De Gea had to score to keep United from losing, but Rulli made a save low to his left to win Villarreal’s first ever major trophy.