Man United

Villarreal Edge Manchester United In Epic Penalty Shootout To Win Maiden Europa League Title

  • May 27, 2021
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Villarreal beat Manchester United 11-10 on penalties to win their first major title after tying 1-1 in the Europa League final when goalkeeper David De Gea missed the decisive shot with a superb penalty shootout. Gerrard Moreno put Villarreal ahead in the 29th minute of the Spanish club's first European final, but Edinson Cavani equalized early in the second half before Unai Emery's side won with a penalty kick, prolonging the drought. Injured Eric Bailey replaced Harry Maguire at the center of defense, and the United captain was surprisingly among the substitutes despite suffering an ankle ligament injury two weeks ago.

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De Gea started to lead ahead of Dean Henderson on goal, while Paul Pogba played a more traditional role in midfield as Fred was deemed fit enough to have a seat on the bench.

An early collision between Juan Foyth and Pogba caused a bloodshot injury to the former Tottenham defender, but both sides were slow to press ahead on a cold, wet night on the Baltic coast.

Rapona's brilliant cross by Carlos Bacca created an opportunity for Pau Torres, the center back with a linked summer pass to Man United, while Marcus Rashford Jeronimo Rulli tested with immersion effort from a distance.

Jeremy Pino, who broke Iker Casillas' record as the youngest Spanish player to start a major European final, at 18 years and 218 days, veered against him, but Villarreal quickly got ahead of him.

Danny Parejo hit a free-kick from the left flank and Moreno ran away from Luke Shaw and Victor Lindelof, bypassing De Gea while the Swede tightened his shirt tight.

Moreno equalized the 82nd goal in Villarreal, the club's record for ex-Manchester United striker Giuseppe Rossi.

But it also sparked a reaction from United, as fighter Scott McTominay saw his shot derailed before Mason Greenwood stormed the area and sent a powerful cross that Raul Albiol almost hit his net.

Another free-kick from Parejo caused panic in the United area just after the break, with Mano Trejoeros sending a cross into the goal before clearing the ball with Moreno and Carlos Bacca in dangerously lurking.

Maybe Alfonso Pedraza was lucky because no further action was taken when he appeared to be hunting Greenwood in the Villarreal area, even though United took advantage of a stroke of luck.

And a header fell from a corner kick in front of Rashford, whose air volley slipped through Cavani went into the net with Rowley unable to recover after anticipating the first shot.

It was Uruguay's sixth goal in the competition this season, and all of that in their last four matches, one that gave United the momentum.

Bruno Fernandez hit the ball wide while Cavani tried unsuccessfully to quickly reset the ball, then the striker headed straight for Torres with a missed shot from Shaw.

United continued to control the ball as Villarreal absorbed the pressure, but the Spaniards remained a threat as Torres gathered at the end of organizational time.

Alberto Moreno cut wide as United got tired, prompting Solskjaer to make his first changeover 100 minutes later when Fred replaced Greenwood.

The first 21 penalties were converted successfully before Rolle refused De Gea's bid as United lost for the sixth time in seven sets, giving Emery their fourth European League title.


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