With his defeat of Manchester United of England last night at the Europa League final, former Arsenal Manager Unai Emery has now won the Europa League four times, after winning it in 2014, 2015 and 2016 with Sevilla. Villarreal and Emery also ended Arsenal’s dream of playing in Europe next season after they dumped ‘lazy’ Arsenal team out of the competition.
Villarreal’s goal came from their only shot on target in the whole game and former Manchester United midfield Keith Gillespie told BBC Radio 5 Live that Emery produced “a masterclass”, adding he “just got everything right”.
Neil Lennon said he thinks Emery, who took over at Villarreal in July 2020 and will now lead the club in next season’s Champions’ League group stages, has done “an amazing job”.
“If you think of how, he was vilified here, I don’t think he got enough time at Arsenal,” Lennon added. He was the main protagonist in all of this for me tonight. His experience played a part in Villarreal winning it.”
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- Villarreal are the first side to win in their first appearance in a major European final since Shakhtar Donetsk made history in the 2008-09 UEFA Cup.
- Manchester United have lost six of their last seven penalty shootouts in all competitions, only winning against Rochdale in the League Cup in September 2019 in that time.
- Villarreal boss Unai Emery is the first manager to win either the UEFA Cup or UEFA Europa League four times, surpassing Giovanni Trapattoni.
- Villarreal became the 13th side in Europe’s big five leagues to hit the 100-goal milestone in all competitions this season (100).
- The three shots on target produced in the game (1 for Villarreal and 2 for Manchester United) was the lowest tally in a UEFA Europa League final since Porto v Sporting Braga in 2011 also saw just three.
- Gerard Moreno netted his 82nd goal in all competitions for Villarreal, joining Giuseppe Rossi as the club’s all-time top-scorer.
- Gerard Moreno became the first player to score 30plus goals for Villarreal in a single season in all competitions since Giuseppe Rossi in 2010-11 (32).
- Manchester United striker Edinson Cavani became just the third player aged 34 or above to score in a major European final for an English club, after Gary McAllister (36) for Liverpool in the UEFA Cup final versus Alavés in 2000-01 and Didier Drogba (34) for Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League final versus Bayern Munich in 2011-12
- Manchester United’s Edinson Cavani has scored 16 goals in his last 11 starts in the UEFA Europa League.
- At 18 years and 218 days, Villarreal’s Yeremi Pino became the youngest Spaniard ever to start a major European final, overtaking Iker Casillas (19y 4days for Real Madrid v Valencia in 2000 UEFA Champions League final).
- Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood made his 52nd appearance this season in all competitions, the joint-most of any teenager with a team from Europe’s big five leagues along with Barcelona’s Pedri.