Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed the one thing he’d change about the Europa League final in 2021
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has opened up on the mistake he made in the one final he took charge of during his time at Manchester United.
Solskjaer was in the hotseat at United for just short of three years before he was sacked in November 2021 following a wretched run of results.
He finished with a 54% win percentage from the 168 games he managed but was unable to end United's hunt for a trophy.
Solskjaer tasted defeat in a plethora of semi-finals in the Europa League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup.
But his side were narrowly beaten in the 2021 Europa League final against Unai Emery's Villarreal, with the showpiece going all the way to penalties after a 1-1 draw at an empty PGE Arena in Gdansk.
A long, old shoot-out went all the way to goalkeepers, with David de Gea seeing his effort from 12 yards saved by Geronimo Rulli.
Solskjaer has watched back the majority of his games as United boss but not the Villarreal loss, where he regrets not starting Nemanja Matic, who was an unused substitute in the final.
The Norwegian believes the game was suited for him and admits he made the wrong call.
"Villarreal under Unai Emery were hard to break down," Solskjaer told The Athletic when asked if he would have done anything differently.
"I’ve not watched it back. Not that one. Or Liverpool, Spurs or Watford. No chance. I watched the rest, we were a decent side.
"But I should have started or at least brought on Nemanja Matic against Villarreal. That game was for him. I didn’t choose him because I felt others deserved it.
"It’s difficult to leave players out but you have to take risks. I risked kids for the final game of 2020-21 at Wolves, risked an unbeaten away record. I was proud of how those kids reacted (in a 2-1 win)."
Solskjaer admitted he is open to a return to management and has had offers, but he is now currently working for UEFA as a technical observer.
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