Unai Emery, Villarreal creates history by beating Manchester United to claim UEFA Europa League Trophy
It was a historic night for Villarreal in Stadion Energa, Gdansk as Unai Emery’s men beat Manchester United in a dramatic 11-10 penalty shootout, after David de Gea missed his penalty, to claim their first ever major honor in club history. The game reached penalties after Gerard Moreno’s first half goal was cancelled by Edinson Cavani’s superb secold half finish. After that, the game could not produce any more goals.
It was a historic moment for manager Unai Emery as he won his fourth Europa League Title, already winning 3 times with Sevilla before. After the match, he said “In the Europa League we have been absolutely impeccable.”
He added, “Since the very first moment. Some days we were coming at 6am to the stadium to prepare a game for the Sunday. All of this makes the journey (worthwhile). We were talking about enjoying these moments. In the end you are proud to reach the title decider but if you don’t win, you are sad. Winning is another step, an important step ahead.
This was a big moment for the manager as he joined Villarreal in 2020, nine months after he was sacked from Arsenal, before knocking them down to reach the final. When asked about the revenge, he told to reporters, “I insist it is not a sports revenge at all. I try to enjoy every moment, winning and losing. I try to create new circumstances, so everywhere I have been, even in England at Arsenal, I have learned a lot, met many people, other cultures and football.”
“At the end of that story was professional frustration, but some other doors opened then. Winning today is a satisfaction, but for my club today, as it was when I was at Sevilla. When I was at Arsenal we played a Europa League final and could not win but it is a process; from that game I learned a lot to win this one maybe.”
Manchester United fans were furious at manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after he waited 100 minutes to bring his first substitution. Coming on the back of a brilliant form, United was tipped to win the tie, dominated the game but could not breach the Villarreal defense.