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UEFA Europa League

Man Utd Extend Trophy Drought After Europa Final Loss

Manchester United have now gone four seasons without silverware after losing to Villarreal on penalties in the UEFA Europa League final.

UEFA Europa League Final

Result: Villarreal 1-1 Manchester United (Villarreal won 11-10 on penalties)

Date: 26 May 2021

Venue: Stadion Energa Gdańsk

Eric Bailly was the only player to retain his spot from the win over Wolverhampton Wanderers on the final day of the Premier League season. Villarreal made one change with Juan Foyth replacing Mario Gaspar.

United were dominating possession in the early exchanges which was the pattern throughout the game as the Yellow Submarine were content to sit deep. 

Soon after, Manu Trigueros stretched to meet Dani Parejo's cross to the back post but it went over the bar. Luke Shaw then smashed a cross-cum shot narrowly wide after Aaron Wan-Bissaka's cross was cleared into his path on the left.

Shortly before the half-hour mark, Edinson Cavani brought down Parejo who dusted himself off and delivered the free-kick to the back post for Gerard Moreno, who finished on the stretch past David de Gea for his seventh Europa League goal of the season and 30th in all competitions.

The Red Devils equalised in the 55th minute. Shaw swung the corner in and Villareal made a hash of clearing their lines with Rashford's effort deflecting into the path of Cavani, who poked home from close range in poacher's style.

Soon after, Fernandes pounced on a loose ball on the edge of the box and tried to bend one in the far corner but it flew narrowly wide.

With ten minutes to go, Rashford was fed by Cavani on the left flank and he dragged the ball inside but shot wide of the left-hand upright.

In the closing stages of regular time Paul Pogba rose highest to meet Shaw's delivery but it went over the bar as the sides. And then Villareal went up the other end with Pau Torres latching on to a knockdown from substitute Gaspar in the box and he let fly on his left foot but it went over the bar as the match went to extra-time.

In the 99th minute, Moreno cut inside from the left after receiving from Gomez in the left-inside channel before slicing the effort wide of the target. Soon after, Paco Alcacer spun his marker with his back to goal but ballooned the effort over the bar.

There were no clear-cut opportunities in the second half of extra-time and so the match went to penalties. Both sides netted all 10 of their opening 10 penalties, however, De Gea missed United's 11th as Villareal boss Emery claimed his fourth Europa League title and United end the season without silverware.

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