Home FOOTBALL Villarreal win the UEFA Europa League Final beating Manchester United 11-10 on...

Villarreal win the UEFA Europa League Final beating Manchester United 11-10 on penalties

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Villareal beating Manchester United meant Unai Emery sealed his fourth Europa League title which is the highest for any manager in this competition. (Image Source: Twitter.com)

The UEFA Europa League Final in Gdansk had its topsy turvy turns within the game with the La Liga side Villarreal sealing their first-ever Europa League title with a victory against Manchester United on penalty shootouts. The game ended 1-1 at Full-time with the same scoreline after extra time with the goals being scored by Gerard Moreno and Edinson Cavani. David De Gea missed the decisive penalty for Manchester United as the wait continued for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to get his first trophy as a manager at the club.

The match had started in expected fashion with Manchester United keeping most of the ball but were unable to produce opportunities for themselves to take the lead. The backline of Villarreal was defending deep and were resilient to anything Man United were throwing at them. Juan Foyth suffered a horrible blow to his head and his nose early on in the match but carried on despite it looking impossible for him to do so at that stage.

Manchester United have been caught napping in set-pieces many times this season and Villarreal made the best of it in the 29th minute of the Europa League final and a wonderful dipping delivery by Dani Parejo was beautifully cushioned into the back of the net by a stretching Gerard Moreno. The Spanian has had a wonderful season and a goal in the Europa League final just made that much sweeter.

Gerard Moreno scored his 30th goal of the season to give Villarreal a lead in the Europa League Final. (Image Source: Twitter.com)

The momentum of the game was balanced for the rest of the first half but started to swing in favor of Manchester United in the second half. The Reds eventually got their tangible reward to that dominance through an equalizer by Edinson Cavani who capitalized in the box by being at the right place at the right time from Rashford’s long-range effort.

Although the Reds dominated possession, Villarreal were compact in the rest of the half and didn’t allow United to create any favorable openings in the rest of the match. The game ended 1-1 at full-time. Extra time wasn’t much different either with Villarreal trying to create something tangible on the break whereas Manchester United kept knocking the ball around without much success. The match went to the much-dreaded penalty shootouts.

This was one of the most high-scoring penalty shootouts in recent years with both teams confidently scoring their penalties. Luke Shaw’s penalty somehow squeezed its way through but until 10-10 in the shootouts, it was well in the balance. Villarreal goalkeeper Rulli scored to make it 11-10 and then went on to save David De Gea’s penalty to win the UEFA Europa League title for Villarreal.

It was indeed another disappointing night for Manchester United and their fans but for Villarreal and Unai Emery, it a title of euphoria and celebration. Villarreal became the smallest ever town to win a European title whereas Unai Emery created the record for the highest number of Europa League / UEFA Cup trophies as a manager.

 

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