Yes, yes, yes! Villarreal CF will be in the UEFA Europa League final after a hard-fought draw in London against Arsenal FC (0-0). The Yellows, who gave everything during the 90 minutes, got the result necessary in the English capital to reach the first final in their history. Unai Emery’s side will play the final on 26th May in Gdansk.
For the historic date against Arsenal FC, Unai Emery lined up with an experienced team, with Francis Coquelin and Mario Gaspar the only differences from the first leg at the Estadio de la Cerámica.
The dream of a team and the excitement of a whole town were in play at the Arsenal Stadium. Villarreal took to the Gunners’ pitch without stuttering, and they were compact and looked impressive on the ball. In the fifth minute, Samu Chukwueze warned Leno with a shot from out wide on the right.
With 20 minutes, the English side showed their danger with a low Aubameyang effort which hit the post. After that scare, Chukwueze was injured, and had to leave the pitch, with Yeremy replacing him.
After the break, Unai Emery's side wasted a good chance to take the lead at Arsenal Stadium. Gerard Moreno received a pass from Paco Alcácer inside the box, tried to find space to shoot, but his shot was saved easily by Leno.
As the minutes passed, the home side pushed forward, trying to cause Villarreal problems and turn the tie around. The Yellows suffered, but kept the Gunners at bay. Arsenal's best chance fell to Aubameyang, whose effort hit the post after a Bellerín cross.
The Submarine held strong until the final whistle to achieve what is a historic feat: the first UEFA Europa League final in club history.
Arsenal FC: Leno; Bellerín (Nketiah, m. 90), Holding, Pablo Marí, Tierney (Willian, m. 79); Pépé, Partey, Smith Rowe, Saka; Odegaard (Martinelli, m. 65), Aubameyang (Lacazette, m. 79).
Villarreal CF: Rulli; Mario Gaspar, R. Albiol, Pau, A. Pedraza (Alberto M., m. 90); M. Trigueros, Coquelin, Parejo; Chukwueze (Yeremy, m. 29) (Moi Gómez, m. 90), Gerard, Paco Alcácer (Bacca, m. 72).
Referee: Slavko Vincic (Slovenia). Booked: Nketiah (Arsenal); Yeremy (Villarreal).
Matchday information: UEFA Europa League semi-final second leg between Arsenal FC and Villarreal CF at the Arsenal Stadium.