Villarreal won the European League for the first time and their first major title ever. The Spaniards excelled in the final in front of 9,500 spectators in Gdansk after the never-ending penalty shoot-out. After 120 minutes it was 1: 1.
Not only did all the field players score in recent penalties, but also Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Roli. The goalkeeper, who was just a substitute in the Spanish championship this season, when he made the 22nd attempt in only the second penalty shootout in the Europa League final, that of Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea, made himself champion.
The other big winner in this final was Villarreal coach Unai Emery. It was also a small revenge for the 49-year-old in front of international observers after somewhat miserable seasons at PSG and Arsenal. Back at home, he has now achieved great things again, and with his fourth European League title he advanced to become the record holder in the competition.
Manchester United breeding
With Villarreal, the clear underdog advanced after 29 minutes. After a free kick, Gerrard Moreno won in the penalty area and aimed the ball towards goal. The Spanish international, who is also in the European Championship squad, turned Spaniards’ first and only chance to score for a goal, his seventh in the European League and overall 30th this season.
It took Manchester United a little more than half the time to develop the strength that characterized the team this season. After the break, English steadily improved and Cavani’s formula was a last-ditch wake-up call. After 1: 1 from Uruguay, who had fought sadly until then, the preferred candidate entered the duels with more determination. In the 70th minute, Marcus Rashford should have made it 2-1. Shortly thereafter, Cavani had another good chance.
For a long time, Villarreal made a surprisingly easy match with his strong and calm appearance. Standing low, pressing a little and working towards a benchmark was enough – until Manchester United worked on the Spanish bar more creatively and, above all, with more power.
She lost the sovereignty and security of Villarreal. After a 1-1 draw, he struggled to save himself in overtime. There, the Yellow Submarine remarkably offered an equally daring duel with more daring tactics. Villarreal took more dangerous measures in the last 30 minutes than in the previous 90 minutes. Emery, who won three Europa League titles with Sevilla between 2014 and 2016, apparently found the right words in the short break between original time and extra time.
The defeat of Manchester United is also a setback for their coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has to wait for his first title with the English. They haven’t won a trophy since the 2017 UEFA Europa League – a long time for a club famous for Manchester United. By and large, the English have to attribute this to themselves, because they only seemed to be disguised at times. In extra time, they were unable to maintain the previously hit speed for several minutes, and thus participated in the penalty shootout.
Villarreal – Manchester United 1: 1 nV (1: 0, 1: 1); Winner in Villarreal 11:10 on penalties
Danzig. – 9,500 spectators. SR Turpin (FRA). – rip: 29. Gerrard 1: 0.55 Cavani 1: 1. – Penalty Shootout: Gerard Moreno 1: 0, Mata 1: 1; Rapa 2: 1, as 2: 2; Baca 3: 2, Fernandez 3: 3; Alberto Moreno 4: 3, Rashford 4: 4; Parejo 5: 4, Cavani 5: 5; Anna Gomez 6: 5, Fred 6: 6; Albiol 7: 6, James 7: 7; Coquelin 8: 7, Shaw 8: 8; Mario Gaspar 9: 8, Tuanzibi 9: 9; Pau Torres 10: 9, Lindelof 10:10; Rolly 11:10, De Gea – (Rollie Hult).
Villarreal: Rolly. Voith (88. Mario Gaspar), Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza (88. Alberto Moreno); Parejo, Capoue (123. Raba), Trigueros (77. Moi Gomes); Gerard Moreno, Baca (60. Coquelin), Pino (77. Alcacer).
Manchester United: De Gia Wan-Bissaka (123. Mata), Lindelöf, Bailly (115. Tuanzebe), Shaw; Pogba (117. James), McTomenay (123. Teles); Greenwood (100. Greenwood), Bruno Fernandez, Rashford; Cavani.
Notes: Villarreal completely. Manchester United without Fred, Martial and Jones (all injured). Warnings: 54. Capoue (ful). 82. Billy (Vol). 85. Voith.