UEFA Europa League
A UEFA Champions League dropout and a UEFA Europa League group winner are the last two standing.
Manchester United and Villarreal are the final two teams standing in the Europa League.
ARSENAL 0-0 VILLARREAL
First leg – Villarreal 2-1 Arsenal
Villarreal advance on a 2-1 aggregate win
For 22 years under Arsene Wenger’s management, Champions League was a regular thing for Arsenal. So regular they got tired of ‘just making it to the Champions League.
Arsenal hasn’t made it to the Champions League since Wenger left, and after their defeat, today Arsenal might not qualify for any of the continental club competitions for the coming season.
They’ve been out of Champions League football contention in the Premier League all season and now it looks like the Europa League will also be a miss.
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE PAST WINNERS
2014 – Sevilla
2015 – Sevilla
2016 – Sevilla
2017 – Manchester United
2018 – Atletico
2019 – Chelsea
2020 – Sevilla
2021 – ??? (Manchester United or Villarreal)
Villarreal celebrates making it to the final at the Emirates Stadium.
— Villarreal CF (@VillarrealCF) May 6, 2021
Unai Emery managed Sevilla to three titles in a row in this competition. Sevilla went on to win the last tournament without Unai Emery, so this year Emery is doing it without Sevilla.
Emery’s Villarreal team getting to the final through Arsenal in London is a vindication for the manager.
Should Villarreal go on and win the tournament, then Emery would’ve completely made his point.
Villarreal held on to their 2-1 home lead to book their place in the final by not conceding a goal in London.
ROMA 3-2 MANCHESTER UNITED
First leg – Manchester United 6-2 Roma
Manchester United advance on an 8-5 aggregate win
THE INSURANCE LEED FOR MANCHESTER UNITED FROM THE FIRST LEG IS WHAT KEPT THEM COMFORTABLE WHEN THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN.
Manchester United came into the second leg with a lead that made qualification to the final seem automatic. Had it not been David De Gea goalkeeping brilliance and Roma’s failure to be more clinical in front of goal, Manchester United’s 6-2 lead could’ve easily evaporated at the Stadio Olimpico.
Roma won 3-2 on the night but Manchester United went through as 8-5 winners in the tie.
Manchester United are on track for their second Europa League title in as many finals. Villarreal are looking for their first title in the competition, and their first-ever on the continental stage.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s managerial career at United is a game away from providing him with silverware.