Villarreal succeeded in attaining their European glory, lifting the Europa League title beating Manchester United on penalties in Poland.
The La Liga club opened the scoring via Gerard Moreno in the first half. United did respond well with Edinson Cavani scoring a scrappy goal to equalize. Thereon, neither side tested the opposition’s goalkeeper much.
This set the stage for the penalty shootout, a process just as long an ordeal as the game, with it coming down to the two goalkeepers facing each other and it was David De Gea who faltered in the end.
1. Trophy Drought vs. Trophy Magic
Ole Gunnar Solskjær thus goes yet another season without any silverware to his name. The semi-final disdain now carried on to the final with the Red Devils being denied a title they were considered favourites for in dramatic fashion.
Meanwhile, Unai Emery’s charm in the competition stayed strong as the Arsenal interlude not shrugging off the brilliance he attained with Sevilla in the competition and now with another Spanish side.
2. Last Kick of the Ball for Spaniards
With this, the season ends for United and possibly even the stays of a few of their senior players. Much speculation surrounds the future of Juan Mata and David De Gea, in particular.
The Spaniards have been long-term servants of the side but it is likely that their times are coming to an end, with Mata likely to leave as a result of an expiring contract while De Gea’s exist most probably engineered by Dean Henderson’s excellent breakout form with the side.
If that is indeed the case, the Spanish keeper will certainly be peeved with how his stay with the side ended in the end.
3. Albiol A Rock At the Back
Despite the game coming down to the penalty shootout, it cannot be denied that the La Liga side saw out United’s creative efforts quite well. Chief credit in that regard has to go to Raul Albiol who was a sheer rock at the back.
For that matter, the 35-year-old certainly led by example and was a fitting winner to lead his side from the looming frontiers of the Europa Conference League to the promise of the Champions League next season.