Villarreal beat Manchester United to win the UEFA Europa League
Villarreal beat Manchester United in the Europa League final to win their first major European trophy. Gerard Moreno handed Villarreal the lead in the first half before Edinson Cavani equalized in the 55th minute. The match went on to extra time before a penalty shootout. The Spanish side won 11-10 on penalties as David de Gea missed the final spot-kick. Here's more.
Villarreal looked solid in defence and didn't allow Manchester United the freedom to exploit the space in the final third. Despite enjoying possession, United lacked the cutting edge in the first half. Moreno made United pay for their shoddy defending in a set-piece situation after Edinson Cavani gave away a needless foul. Cavani equalized for United in the second half.
The first half of extra-time ended goalless. Villarreal looked like the much better side and tried attacking more as a group as United sat deep. The second half of extra-time saw no change in the scoreline as things headed to penalties.
Yeremi Pino (18 years, 218 days) became the youngest ever Spanish player to start a major European final, breaking the record held by Iker Casillas (19 years, 4 days). Mason Greenwood made his 52nd appearance of the season in all competitions for United. As per Opta, this is the joint-most by a teenager for a top-five European league side in 2020-21, alongside Barcelona's Pedri.
As per Opta, Moreno is the first player to score 30+ goals for Villarreal in a single season in all competitions since Giuseppe Rossi in 2010-11 (32). The Spaniard now has 82 career goals for Villarreal, becoming the joint-highest scorer for the club alongside Giuseppe Rossi. Moreno is also the joint-highest scorer this season in the Europa League (7).
Playing just his fifth Europa League game this season, Cavani has six goals for United. The veteran forward netted his 17th goal for Man United in all competitions this season. As per William Hill, at 34 years old, Cavani has scored in a major European cup final for the first time in his career, becoming the oldest player to do so in United's history.
Cavani has now scored 18 career Europa League goals in just 22 appearances. The former PSG star has scored 10 goals in his last 11 games for Manchester United as well. As per Sky Sports, Moreno is the 10th player from Europe's Top 5 Leagues to score 30+ goals in all competitions this season.
As per Opta, Cavani has become the third player aged 34 or above to score in a major European final for an English club, after Gary McAllister (36) for Liverpool (UEFA Cup final in 2000-01) and Didier Drogba (34) for Chelsea (UCL final in 2011-12).