Man United's Bruno Fernandes allowed Villarreal to take the first penalty in Europa League final

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Villarreal are the Europa League champions after a dramatic penalty shootout victory over Manchester United in the final.

In truth, it was a fairly drab 120 minutes in Gdansk.

The Spanish side had taken a first half lead through the brilliant Gerard Moreno. However, United find themselves level in the second half through Edinson Cavani.

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From that moment on, it looked as though both sides were too scared to lose the match in normal time and penalties looked inevitable.

Even then, there was no separating the two sides as every single outfield player took, and scored, their penalty.

After 21 successful kicks, it fell to Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea to miss his effort prompted wild celebrations from Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and his teammates.

It always felt as though it was United under pressure in the shootout due to taking second. Every time Villarreal stuck their penalty into the back of the net, seven United players took their spot-kick knowing that if they missed, they would lose the Europa League.

But it didn’t have to be that way around.

That’s because United captain on the night actually won the toss to take first. However, he decided to allow Villarreal to go first - something that has been confirmed by The Athletic.

In the below video, you can see Villarreal first win the toss to have the penalties at their end. Then, on the second toss, Fernandes wins and is given the choice to go first or second. But he decides to give Raul Abiol's side the opportunity - even the referee looked surprised.

It was a questionable decision and one that may have led to the end result.

According to professional research, the team taking the first penalty win the match 60.5% of the time.

And fans believe Fernandes made a big mistake by giving the honour to Villarreal. Check out the reaction on social media:

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After Villarreal’s victory, Fernandes could be seen in tears on the pitch.

If given the opportunity again, we reckon the Portuguese midfield would opt for United to take the first penalty…

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