Gdansk (Poland), May 27 (MNN) Villarreal beat Manchester United 11-10 in a penalty shootout to win the 2021 UEFA Europa League (UEL) title after regular play ended in a 1-1 draw.
It was a long 11-round shootout with every player having a go at the ball. First 20 kicks were converted before Villarreal’s goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli stepped up to drill beyond David de Gea and then saved one from his United counterpart to make it 11-10 and bag the trophy for his team at Polsat Plus Arena Gdańsk.
In the match, Villarreal took the lead after 29 minutes with Gerard Moreno scoring as they kept that lead going into half time.
The second half saw Manchester United mostly in control as Edinson Cavani scored the equaliser in the 55th minute to level the score.
Both sides held onto till the 90th minute for a 1-1 draw. It was an uneventful extra time as neither side managed to get a winner.
It was all down to the penalty shootouts to decide the winner.
Unai Emery has won the trophy four times as a manager, a new UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League record; he was in charge of Sevilla’s triumphs in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
This was only the second UEFA Europa League final to go to penalties, after Emery’s Sevilla beat Benfica in 2014.
Villarreal are the 29th team to win the UEFA Cup/UEFA Europa League, and the fifth Liga side; it is Spain’s 13th triumph in the competition.
Spanish clubs have won ten successive European finals against English teams, since Alavés lost to Liverpool in the 2001 UEFA Cup final.