Just four months on from the penalty shoot-out loss to Unai Emery’s side in Gdansk, the sides met again with the Red Devils needing to make up for their shock defeat at Young Boys in the Group F opener.
A disjointed United were staring down the barrel of a third straight home defeat in all competitions when Paco Alcacer deservedly put Villarreal ahead.
Jadon Sancho slipped at the wrong moment when trying to get a shot away soon after, with Mason Greenwood forcing Villarreal’s goalkeeper into a low stop from a difficult angle.
Solskjaer turned to Edinson Cavani and the introduction nearly brought an immediate reward, only for him to somehow head wide a Greenwood cross.
Villarreal were then wondering how they failed to grab a winner of their own.
De Gea could only push a Moi Gomez strike into the path of Boulaye Dia, with the United goalkeeper instinctively stopping the follow up before Telles blocked the substitute’s next attempt.
Scott McTominay saw a volley saved in stoppage time and Rulli denied Lingard as the clock wound down.
But United do not know when they are beaten and Ronaldo rocked the ground to its foundations when striking home from an acute angle following a deft Lingard touch.