Ole Gunnar Solskjaer didn’t get many things right on Wednesday night but his substitutions worked wonders as Manchester United defeated Villarreal 2-1 in a rematch of last season’s Europa League final.
Unai Emery’s men were all over the hosts in the first-half, as David de Gea was called into action on several occasions. He was eventually beaten, as Paco Alcacer bagged the opener for Villarreal in the 53rd minute.
However, as has been the case in so many fixtures during Solskjaer’s tenure, his team reacted in a brilliant manner to complete yet another comeback, aided by his changes from the sidelines.
After Alex Telles’ superb volleyed equaliser, the visitors again got the hold of the game, as the Red Devils’ urgency to find the winner started to fade away. To tackle the issue and gain back the control, the Norwegian introduced the experienced duo of Nemanja Matic and Edinson Cavani.
Cavani brought a new lease of life to the United frontline, pressing the Villarreal backline at every possible opportunity to win possession.
One of United’s attack broke down in the 82nd minute, as the ball seemed destined to roll out of play. Cristiano Ronaldo, frustrated by another failed attempt to find the winning goal, stopped running after it.
The Uruguayan, however, out of nowhere, made a lengthy run to win back the possession ahead of Juan Foyth. His infectious work-rate got the Old Trafford crowd excited.
This is why fans love Edinson Cavani 😤
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) September 29, 2021
In stoppage time, Cavani again won the ball that eventually led to Fred’s cross for Ronaldo and Lingard to link up and fire home the winning goal in the last minute of the night.
No wonder the Stretford End roars every time it witnesses El Matador!