UEFA Europa League

Arsenal 0-0 Villarreal (agg 1-2): Unai Emery’s side will face Man Utd in Europa League final

Arsenal's Europa League campaign ends at hands of Unai Emery's Villarreal; Spanish side led 2-1 from first leg; Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck post twice on frustrating night for the Gunners; Villarreal held on to book place in final in Gdansk against Man Utd on May 26

Arsenal’s season was left shredded as Villarreal hung on for a 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium to get a 2-1 total triumph and a spot in the Europa League last against Manchester United.

Following a 2-1 loss in Spain in the main leg a week ago, the Gunners were lazy as they attempted to discover the objective they so urgently required, however they had possibilities.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s volley struck the outside of the post in the main half and the Gunners captain’s header hit within the upstanding and ricocheted out with 11 minutes remaining.

The hosts, who tossed on Gabriel Martinelli, Alexandre Lacazette and Willian in the end arranges, heaped forward, yet it was not to be their night as Unai Emery improved of his previous side, with Villarreal arriving at their first European last, where they will confront United in Gdansk on May 26.

In the mean time, rout in the tie covered one more terrible night in what has been a troublesome mission for Mikel Arteta and Arsenal. The Gunners presently face the possibility of not fitting the bill for European rivalry without precedent for a very long time.

How Arsenal’s season was left destroyed…

Weapons store were constrained into a late change to their firing line-up as Granit Xhaka pulled up with a physical issue in the warm-up. Kieran Tierney, showing up since April, came into the side at left-back subsequent to getting back from injury, and he was made to work straight away after a sure beginning from Villarreal.

There were cheeky minutes for the Gunners in the initial 20 minutes and the nearest the guests came was a Dani Parejo free-kick, which flew simply over Bernd Leno’s crossbar.

At the opposite end, Arteta’s men were yet to click into gear, yet they nearly grabbed the lead in the 27th moment. The ball dropped generous for Aubameyang and his very much struck volley had goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli beat, however the ball cut the outside of the upstanding.

Player ratings

Arsenal: Leno (6), Bellerin (4), Holding (6), Mari (7), Tierney (6), Partey (4), Smith Rowe (6), Odegaard (5), Pepe (6), Aubameyang (6), Saka (5).

Subs used: Martinelli (6), Lacazette (n/a), Willian (n/a), Nketiah (n/a).

Villarreal: Rulli (5), Pedraza (7), Pau Torres (8), Raul Albiol (8), Gaspar (7), Parejo (8), Coquelin (8), Trigueros (7), Gerard Moreno (6), Chukwueze (6), Alcacer (6).

Subs used: Bacca (6), Alberto Moreno (n/a), Gomez (n/a).

Man of the match: Francis Coquelin.

Villarreal at that point needed to fight with a physical issue blow of their own and they were constrained into a prompt change when Samuel Chukwueze, who went down with nobody around him, was stretchered from the field and supplanted by Yeremi Pino.

It was a tight, tense undertaking at the Emirates Stadium, however Arsenal ultimately infused some life into the game as Emile Smith Rowe burst forward prior to delivering Aubameyang. The striker, in his supported situation over on the left, cut inside prior to driving Rulli right into it, and the goalkeeper ripped at the ball away from objective in the wake of spilling the underlying strike.

Villarreal would have been content with their work in the opening 45 minutes, keeping Arsenal moderately peaceful, yet, after a dull first a large portion of, the Gunners came out with significantly more criticalness for the subsequent half.

Nicolas Pepe terminated wide of the far post before Smith Rowe’s chipped exertion floated tortuously wide of the far post after Rulli had ruined Hector Bellerin’s cross.

Villarreal were as yet a danger on the counter assault, and with the game beginning to get extended, Gerard Moreno had a radiant opportunity to make Arsenal’s undertaking much more troublesome, yet the Spanish forward could just hit his shot directly at Leno.

Team news

Armory rolled out eight improvements for the second leg semi-last conflict. Chief Mikel Arteta rested a large group of first-group regulars for Sunday’s success at Newcastle. Just Hector Bellerin, Martin Odegaard and commander Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang kept their places.

Bernd Leno returned in objective with Rob Holding and Pablo Mari reviewed at the core of safeguard, while Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka, Emile Smith Rowe and Nicolas Pepe – who scored the away objective in the main leg – all came into the side.

The Gunners were likewise constrained into a late change to the beginning XI as Granit Xhaka got a thump in the warm-up. Kieran Tierney came into the side at left-back.

Villarreal rolled out two improvements from a week ago’s first leg. Previous Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin came into the XI alongside Mario Gaspar. Etienne Capoue was suspended while Juan Foyth remained sidelined in the wake of getting a physical issue last Thursday.

Arteta sought his seat for motivation, welcoming on Martinelli, and the hosts started to fabricate some pressing factor again as Rob Holding headed distressingly wide in the wake of meeting Pepe’s cross.

There was more disappointment minutes after the fact as Aubameyang rose most noteworthy to meet Bellerin’s cross yet his header hit within the post and skiped out.

It end up being his last commitment as fit-again Lacazette supplanted the Arsenal commander, while Willian went ahead for Tierney as the Gunners looked for the objective they required, however Villarreal protected unfalteringly as they hung on for an acclaimed triumph.

When is the Europa League last?

The last will happen in Gdansk, Poland on Wednesday May 26 with the game starting off at 8pm, UK time.

The Gdansk Arena was initially proposed to have the 2020 standoff yet the Covid episode caused the end rounds of the 2019/20 rivalry to be organized in Germany.

The Polish specialists have affirmed that up to 9,500 observers – 25% of the arena limit – will be allowed.

VAR will keep on being utilized in the last, while five replacements are permitted, with a 6th allowed for each side if the game goes to extra-time.

Opta stats – Emery’s love affair with the Europa League continues

  • Villarreal have reached the final of a major European competition for the very first time, having been eliminated from each of their previous four semi-finals – UEFA Cup/Europa League in 2003-04, 2010-11, 2015-16 and UEFA Champions League 2005-06.
  • Having progressed from each of their first six semi-finals in major European competition, Arsenal have been eliminated from three of their four appearances at this stage in Europe since (2008-09 UEFA Champions League, 2017-18 and 2020-21 UEFA Europa League).
  • Since the competition’s rebranding in 2009-10, Unai Emery has reached the final of the UEFA Europa League on more occasions than any other manager (5 – 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, 2018-19 & 2020-21) – indeed, the Spaniard has won the competition on three of the previous four occasions he has reached the final.
  • Villarreal remain unbeaten in 14 games in European competition (W12 D2), last suffering defeat in April 2019 (0-2 v Valencia in the UEFA Europa League quarter-final 2nd leg).
  • Arsenal have failed to score in 10 home matches within a single season in all competitions for the first time in the club’s history. The Gunners have failed to win in three consecutive home matches in Europe (D2 L1) for the first time since September 2003 (a run of six).


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