Europa League Semi-finals Highlights & Reports


First Semi-final Second Leg: Arsenal vs Villarreal 0−0

A determined defensive display took Villarreal into their first European final as Arsenal twice hit the woodwork in north London. Villarreal reached their first Europe UEFA League final thanks to a solid and well-organized display that held off Arsenal in north London.

Trailing from the first leg, the home side struggled to muster a much-attacking threat in the first 45 minutes. The closest they came to an opportunistic volley from the returning Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang that clipped the outside of the post. Villarreal lost Samu Chukwueze, who was carried off on a stretcher before the half-hour but continued to look comfortable as they protected their first-leg advantage.

Nicolas Pépé and Emile Smith Rowe both put chances wide early in the second half and Rob Holding’s header flashed past the post as time started to run out. With the Gunners increasingly pushing forward, Aubameyang’s header came back off the upright but that was as close as they came as Villarreal’s disciplined defense held out.

Line-ups

Arsenal: Leno; Holding, Pablo Marí, Tierney (Willian 80); Bellerín (Nketiah 90+1), Smith Rowe, Partey, Saka; Pépé , Aubameyang (Lacazette 79), Ødegaard (Martinelli 66)
Villarreal: Rulli; Mario, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza (Moreno 90+1); Parejo, Coquelin, Trigueros; Moreno, Alcácer (Bacca 72), Chuckweze (Pino 29; Gómez 90+1)

Villarreal now faces Manchester United in the final. Before then, they take on Celta Vigo (09/05), Valladolid (13/05), Sevilla (16/05) and Real Madrid (23/05).


Second Semi-final Second leg: Roma vs Manchester United 3 – 2

Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s men cruised into their first European final since 2017 thanks to Edinson Cavani’s double. Manchester United reached their second Europe UEFA League final by completing a comfortable 8-5 aggregate victory against Roma.

The Red Devils arrived in Rome sporting a handsome 6-2 first-leg lead but the hosts nearly reduced arrears early on. Gianluca Mancini was denied by David de Gea and Henrikh Mkhitaryan headed into the side-netting. Any question of a comeback, though, was answered when Edinson Cavani, who had earlier clipped the bar, was sent through by Fred and rifled his finish past Antonio Mirante.

Roma showed their spirit when Edin Džeko headed an equalizer and Bryan Cristante thumped in a second but Cavani clinically dispatched another header to make it 2-2. A late Alex Telles own goal, at least, gave Paulo Fonseca’s men the victory they deserved on the night.

Line-ups

Roma: Mirante; Karsdorp, Smalling (Darboe 30), Ibañez, Bruno Peres (Santon 69); Mancini, Cristante; Pedro Rodríguez (Zalewski 76), Pellegrini, Mkhitaryan; Džeko (Mayoral 76)
Manchester United: De Gea; Wan-Bissaka (Williams 46), Bailly, Maguire, Shaw (Alex Telles 46); Van de Beek, Fred; Greenwood, Bruno Fernandes (Mata 84), Pogba (Matić 64); Cavani (Rashford 73)

Manchester United now faces Villarreal in the final on 26 May. Before then, they take on Aston Villa (09/05), Leicester (11/05), Liverpool (13/05), Fulham (18/05), and Wolves (23/05) to complete their Premier League campaign.


First Semi-final first leg: Villarreal vs Arsenal 2-1

First-half goals from Manu Trigueros and Raúl Albiol put Villarreal firmly in the driving seat in Spain. When Dani Ceballos picked up his second yellow card 12 minutes into the second half Arsenal looked ripe for the taking. The Gunners dug in, though, replying through a Nicolas Pépé penalty before Étienne Capoue’s red card.


Second Semi-final first leg: Manchester United vs Roma 6-2

A game of two halves if ever there was one. Despite losing three players to injury, spirited Roma took a 2-1 lead into the break at Old Trafford, but the second half was one-way traffic. Inspired by Edinson Cavani, who struck twice, United scored five unanswered goals to win 6-2 and take a giant step towards the Europe UEFA League final.