Former Man City man Rulli haunts Man United in Europa League final loss

Manchester United have been left devastated after losing the Europa League final in heartbreaking fashion, and former Manchester City man Geronimo Rulli is the cause of the pain.

United had the chance to lift their first trophy since 2017 on Wednesday but squandered the chance in spectacular style as they lost a dramatic penalty shoot-out to Villarreal.

Gerard Moreno put the Yellow Submarine ahead in the first-half before an Edinson Cavani strike restored parity, but they were the only moments of note in an otherwise turgid 120 minutes.

With the game finishing 1-1 after extra-time penalties loomed and the shoot-out was a much more entertaining affair.

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All of the first 20 spot-kicks were scored as every outfielder on both sides found the back of the net, leaving it up to the goalkeepers to take their turn.

Villarreal’s Rulli was the first to step up and he smashed his shot straight into the roof of the net.

The Argentine was briefly on City’s books after he was signed from Uruguayan side Maldonado for £4.23million in the summer of 2016.

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A day later he was sent out on loan to Real Sociedad, where he did well enough to earn a permanent move the following summer, with City netting a profit as they received a £6.30million fee. A loan spell at French side Montpellier followed before he joined Villarreal in 2020.

After scoring his penalty, Rulli then had to face his opposite number David de Gea. With all the pressure on the Spaniard to score he hit a tame, low shot which Rulli got down to his left to save to spark wild celebrations and inflict an agonising defeat on United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s wait for his first trophy as United boss goes on, while City ready themselves for Saturday’s Champions League final.