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Sir Alex Ferguson waited for David De Gea outside the tunnel after the Manchester United goalkeeper missed the decisive spot-kick in the Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.
21 consecutive penalties were converted in a remarkable penalty shoot-out in Gdansk but De Gea saw his effort saved by Geronimo Rulli, who had just done the business from 12 yards moments prior.
Devastation for David De Gea :tired_face:- Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) May 26, 2021
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
It gave Villarreal a first trophy in their entire history and extended United's run without silverware to four seasons.
De Gea's disappointment was evident as he, like many of his teammates, removed their runners up medals from their necks.
But as he headed towards the tunnel and back to the dressing room, he was greeted by Ferguson, the man who brought him to Old Trafford as a 20-year-old back in 2011.
The legendary United boss flew over to Gdansk to support the team and was also on the podium for Villarreal's trophy presentation.
But afterwards he also made a point of consoling De Gea, with the two sharing an embrace and walking down the tunnel side-by-side according to The Athletic.
Laurie Whitwell: "Once Manchester United players left after receiving their medals. Sir Alex Ferguson provided De Gea some comfort. Sir Alex waited for De Gea, embraced him and then walked side-by-side down the tunnel and talked with him." pic.twitter.com/YAAgFgTQwv- Aidan Walsh :beginner: (@AidanWalshMUFC) May 27, 2021
The gesture will no doubt have been highly appreciated by De Gea, who was understandably gutted.
Although he had key information on Villarreal's takers and their favourite spots on a "cheat sheet" inside his towel, the Spaniard failed to save a single penalty - stretching his wretched run to 40 spot-kicks for club and country.
Substitute goalkeeper Dean Henderson, meanwhile has saved eight of 19 penalties he's faced in his career.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admitted he did consider bringing him on for the shoot-out, in scenes that would have been remiscient to Louis van Gaal bringing on penalty specialist Tim Krul against Costa Rica in 2014.
"You go through every scenario, of course, and it [bringing on Henderson] had crossed my mind in the build-up to the game, but we were confident in David and prepared," Solskjaer said after the defeat.
"Anything can happen in a penalty shootout, so I stuck with the keeper who had played all of the game."
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