• Sports - Football - Scores & Fixtures
  • Updated: May 07, 2021

Emery Haunts Arsenal To Push Villarreal Into Europa League Final

Emery Haunts Arsenal To Push Villarreal Into Europa League F

Unai Emery - Getty Images

Villarreal held out for a 0-0 draw on a nerve-jangling night at Arsenal on Thursday to reach the Europa League final 2-1 on aggregate as visiting manager Unai Emery returned to haunt the London club that sacked him in 2019.

The Spanish side, who had lost their four previous European semifinals, one to Arsenal in the 2005-06 Champions League, protected their first-leg advantage with a disciplined display.

They will now play Manchester United in the May 26 final in Gdansk in what will be the biggest night in their history.

Arsenal, who now face the prospect of having no European football next season for the first time in 25 years, looked flat and never managed to exert any sustained pressure.

READ ALSO: Europa League: Emery's Villarreal Manage To Win Against Arsenal

"We are devastated, really disappointed," said Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta, who was dealt a blow in the warm-up when Swiss midfielder Granit Xhaka was injured and had to be replaced by full-back Kieran Tierney.

"But we congratulate Villarreal. I think we deserved to win the game but the details define these ties. The way we started in Villarreal wasn't good enough."

It was a desperately disappointing night for Arsenal that begun with a large group of fans again demonstrating against the club's American owner Stan Kroenke and ended with Spaniard Arteta facing increasing pressure over his future with Arsenal languishing in the ninth spot in the Premier League.

READ ALSO: Arsenal Legend, Henry Says He No Longer Recognise Club

His misery contrasted sharply with the mood of Emery who now takes the so-called Yellow Submarine to Poland on May 26 with the chance to win his fourth Europa League having done so three times in a golden period with Sevilla.

"I'm very proud, Arsenal are a very good team but I think we deserved it," he said. "We made a very serious match, we all helped each other, we defended very well and sometimes with the possession we controlled the match."

Looking ahead to the final he said: "It will be very difficult but we deserve to play this final and we will show our supporters our best performance again."

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