Manchester United lost the Europa League final on penalties.

Here’s a look at five things we learned from the game …

United lost

At the end of the day, the only thing that really matters in a cup final is the result.

Things didn’t look good after 45 minutes, United had one goal less. Edinson Cavani scored a goal in the second half and the final went into overtime.

After that, a nervous game played out and United arrived shortly after a nerve-wracking shootout.

This was a huge disappointment and a deflating moment. The game ended 1-1 full-time, with United losing 11-10 on penalties.

Solskjaer picked the team fans, but faces questions

The careful decision would have been that Ole would have picked Fred alongside Scott McTominay.

Instead, Solskjaer dropped Fred and played Paul Pogba in central midfield, a popular pre-game decision.

This enabled Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford to both start the game, which gave United extra attacking power.

The result was an open football game, with United pushing up and quickly bringing the ball onto the field, but this took a lot from the players.

In the end, Solskjaer’s decisions left much to be desired. He was late to make changes, played for penalties with his uninspired substitutions and lost.

(Photo by MAJA HITIJ / POOL / AFP via Getty Images)

Set piece woe

Defending set pieces has been a persistent problem for Manchester United all season.

So it was no surprise that United conceded from a soft free kick. Gerard Moreno played between Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly as if they weren’t there and scored far too easily.

The instant narration from BT’s commentators pointed to the absence of Harry Maguire as a factor contributing to the goal.

However, this ignores the fact that Maguire has played the most games this season in which United also conceded soft free-kick goals, with Everton, AC Milan and the semi-final defeat to City being three of several examples.

This is a coaching issue that needs to be addressed and the need for a new center-back has also increased.

(Photo by Adam Warzawa – Pool / Getty Images)

Edinson Cavani is the star of United

Cavani was everywhere all night, tracking Villarreal’s attacks and posing a threat in the Villarreal crate.

It was fitting that the Uruguayan scored the equalizer for United early in the second half. It was his sixth goal in the Europa League in five games.

Cavani played like he was 24, not 34, and he has become the talisman of that team.

This could have been Cavani’s farewell game. Fortunately, he has extended his contract and will stay for at least another season.

Big improvement needed

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has to wait for his big moment.

A season of progress ends sourly after a final defeat in the Cup.

There’s a lot to do starting in the transfer market this summer.

Tonight was a sign that United are still not good enough when it really counts.

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