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Mr Europa, Unai Emery leads Villarreal to Europa League glory

Club wins its first ever major trophy after penalty shootout

Villarreal defeated Manchester United 11-10 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 after 120 minutes of football. It was Unai Emery’s fourth triumph in the competition, with the previous three coming from his time as Sevilla manager.

Young Super Eagles winger Samuel Chukwueze was not listed for the match as he had not recovered from the injury he suffered in the semifinal against Arsenal. In-form Spanish striker Gerard Moreno headed the Yellow Submarines into the lead in Gdansk after 29 minutes of the game. Manchester United found an equaliser through Edinson Cavani in the 55th minute of the tie to draw them level. Both sides could not find a winner and needed penalties to be separated after 120 minutes of football in the final.

Both teams saw all 10 of their outfield players score their penalties before Villarreal goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli stepped up to score for his side, and Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea took his penalty with no conviction, allowing Rulli to parry the shot from De Gea and confirm Villarreal as the Europa League champions.

Unai Emery once again cemented his status as the competition’s greatest manager as he picked up his fourth title in 5 attempts. It was Villarreal’s first major title ever. Their win means that 5 Spanish sides have now qualified for next season’s UEFA Champions League group stages.

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