Europa League 2020-21 Final Live Blog: Villarreal beat Manchester United in penalties to win a historic title

After a 1-1 draw at the end of 120 minutes, the match went into a penalty shoot-out which Unai Emery's side dramatically won 11-10 to become the champions.

Rohan GulatyAuthor

Updated - 27 May 2021 04:15 AM

Europa League Final

Welcome to the live blog of the all-important grand finale!

The stage is set in Poland for the final showdown of this season's Europa League finale between Villarreal and Manchester United. Both the sides have had an impressive run in the tournament so far and they are just one step away from lifting the beautiful trophy tonight. While Manchester United have won the competition before in 2016-17 season, Villarreal will be hoping to lift the trophy for the first time after becoming the 11th Spanish club to reach the finals of a major European final.

It's a huge day for Villarreal as they lift the ultimate title!

Hope you enjoyed the coverage tonight. Good Night!


Unai Emery's side wins their first-ever major title in club history. They also qualify for next year's champions league with this historic victory tonight.


Man Utd's GK David de Gea misses!

Villarreal's GK Rulli scores!

Viktor Lindelof scores for Man Utd! It's 10-10

Pau Torres scores for Villarreal! 

Axel Tuanzebe scores for Man Utd! It's 9-9

Mario Gaspar scores for Villarreal!

Luke Shaw scores for Man Utd! It's 8-8

Francis Coquelin scores for Villarreal!

Daniel James scores for Man Utd! It's 7-7

Raul Albiol scores for Villarreal!

Fred scores for Man Utd! It's 6-6

Moi Gomez scores for Villarreal

It's sudden death in Poland!

Edinson Cavani scores for Man Utd! It's 5-5

Dani Parejo scores for Villarreal!

It's been a perfect shootout so far...

Marcos Rashford scores for Man Utd! It's 4-4

Alberto Moreno scores for Villarreal!

Bruno Fernandes scores for Man Utd! It's 3-3

Pabo Alcacer scores for Villarreal!

Alex Telles scores for Man Utd! It's 2-2

Dani Raba scores for Villarreal!

Juan Mata scores for Man Utd! It's 1-1

Gerard Moreno scores for Villarreal! 

Bruno Fernandes wins the Toss. Villarreal will shoot first!



120 + 3' Final few substitutions!

Juan Mata and Alex Telles come in for Man Utd. Villarreal introduces Dani Raba.

3 added minutes before the match heads to penalties

Few minutes away from glory!

116' Paul Pogba taken off!

A big decision by Solskjaer as Paul Pogba gets replaced by Daniel James. Meanwhile, Axel Tuanzebe comes in place of Eric Bailly.


A potential penalty check for Villarreal as the ball hits the hands of Fred inside the box. VAR rules it in favour of Man Utd. No penalty!

109' Injury concern for Man Utd

Marcus Rashford runs inside the box and almost gets on the end of a long ball. He seems to have pulled his hamstring and looks unfit to continue. However, he returns on the field after a minute much to the delight of Man Utd fans.

The final 15 minutes of the extra time begins!

105+1' End of first half of ET!

The referee blows the whistle as the first half of added 30 minutes comes to a close. Last 15 minutes left to find a winner for both sides. It stays Villarreal 1-1 Man Utd.

100' Substitution for Man Utd

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer introduces Fred in place of Mason Greenwood. A bit of cautious approach by Man Utd.

99' Good move by Villarreal!

Some good passes by the Villarreal players as Alberto Moreno gets some pace to get a shot on goal. The left-back makes a mess of it and Emery is not a happy manager.

95' Electric atmosphere in Poland

As both the sides fight it out for the ultimate glory, the noise in the stadium is absolutely electric as fans push their teams to go for a winner.

91' Extra time begins!

The referee blows the whistle as the extra time begins in Poland. Are we heading to penalties?

It's full time at Gdasnk Stadium! Villarreal 1-1 Man Utd

The match goes to extra time with goals from Moreno and Cavani squaring up the things in Poland. We enter into 30 minutes of added time.

90+2' Chance for Torres

Pau Torres finds himself in some space inside the box and fires in a left-footed shot. The ball misses the bar by some distance.

3 added minutes in Poland

88' More substitutions for Villarreal

Villarreal introduces Mario Gaspar and Alberto Moreno in the final stages of normal time. The duo replaces Alfonso Pedraza and Juan Foyth.

82' Yellow card for Bailly!

The Manchester United defender gets in the book for blocking Alcacer with an arm on his face. Foyth also gets in the book two minutes later.

77' Double substitution for Villarreal

After already taking off Bacca, Unai Emery has now introduced Moi Gomez and Paco Alcacer in place of Trigueros and Yeremi Pino.

72' Chance for Cavani

Luke Shaw shows brilliant trickery on the left wing as he dribbles past a few defenders. The left-back tries to shoot with his wring foot but finds Cavani who heads the ball towards the goal. Good block as Villarreal survives.

70' What a miss by Rashford!

Bruno Fernandes delivers a cross right in the path of Marcus Rashford who misses a sitter in front of the goal. Fortunately for him, Bruno was offside.

62' Brilliant tackle by Bissaka

Villarreal gets in a few passes and finds Alfonso Pedraza on the left flank. He was one-on-one with Aaron Wan-Bissaka and the Manchester United defender comes up on top with a dazzling diving tackle.


Luke Shaw takes a good corner which gets cleared by Villarreal. Marcus Rashford fires in a shot from outside the box and the ball falls nicely in front of Cavani who scores the equaliser for Man Utd. Villarreal 1-1 Man Utd!


Mason Greenwood gets caught by Villarreal defender as Manchester United appeals for penalty. The decision gets referred to VAR who checks it closely and gives a decision against the Red Devils. Bruno is not happy!

48' Chaos inside the Man Utd box!

Villarreal gets the ball delivered inside the box in dangerous area with the Manchester United defenders falling all over the place. Bailly fails to clear with his acrobatic effort and it could have been a goal. The Red Devils clear it somehow.

46' Second-half begins in the final showdown!

Can Villareal hold on to their lead or will Man United register a comeback?

It was poor defending by Man United!

Gerard Moreno was left all alone inside the box which led to the only goal of the game so far. The positing of Viktor Lindelof was questionable as he should have gotten a bit closer to the Villarreal striker running behind him.

It's Half-time in Poland! Villarreal 1-0 Man Utd

Shots: Villarreal - 5, Man Utd - 3

Possession: Villarreal - 31%, Man Utd - 69%

Passes: Villarreal - 143, Man Utd - 329

45' Brilliant skills by Rashford!

Marcus Rashford displays some fantastic skills down the right wing as he dribbles past a few players. Another chance goes begging as Greenwood fires in a pacy cross but does not lead to anything.

40' Man United failing to create chances

The Red Devils have dominated the ball since the goal but have failed to create any meaningful chance. The players are struggling in the final third with Villarreal's defensive line looking quite solid.


The goal from Moreno takes him at top of Villarreal's all-time goal scoring charts! He joins Giuseppe Rossi with 82 goals.


Dani Parejo delivers a beautiful in-winging cross inside the box. Gerard Moreno times his run to perfection and sneaks in a clever finish. Villarreal draws early blood! It's 1-0 for the 'Yellow Submarine'.

Former Villarreal star is feeling the pressure!

24' Fantastic counter attack by Man Utd!

Aaron Wan-Bisaaka starts a brilliant counter attacking move and finds Mason Greenwood. The youngster whips in a delightful ball for Cavani who unfortunately fails to control the ball.

19' 60% possession for Man Utd!

After a decent start by Villareal, Manchester United have taken the edge in the contest with Solskjaer's side dominating the possession with 60% of the ball.

15' Foyth is back!

Injured Juan Foyth is making his way back on the field with a taping on his head. Fortunately, not a case for concussion.

9' Injury Concern for Villarreal!

A very unfortunate incident on the field as Juan Foyth slips and bangs his head on the knee of Paul Pogba. He is bleeding and gets off the field to get some treatment.

7' First chance of the game!

Good build up play from Manchester United as Marcus Rashford finds Scott McTominay in the centre. The Man Utd midfielder fires in a low drive which misses the goal by a yard.

6' Good cross from Shaw

Luke Shaw finds himself in a lot of space down the left flank. The left-back fires in a decent cross towards Edinson Cavani who fails to control the ball.

3' Cautious start to the game!

It's quite a balanced start to the finale with both the sides trying to settle in.

And the final has kicked off in Poland!

12:29 AM: Players acknowledge the crowd! 

The players of both the sides acknowledge the crowd of 9,500 people who have certainly lit up the occasion with their presence inside the stadium.

12:28 AM: Get pumped up with the UEFA Europa League Anthem!

12:20 AM: Will Cavani win his first trophy with the Red Devils tonight?

Manchester United's striker has been in brilliant form off late for the club. He will surely be looking to combine with Bruno Fernandes once again tonight as he looks to win his maiden trophy with the club!

12:15 AM: Look who is there to support Man Utd!

Former Manchester United star Wayne Rooney is there inside the stadium in Poland. The players will indeed be excited to have one of the club's most iconic players supporting them tonight.

12:10 AM: Villarreal players are out on the field!

The Men in Yellow have started the warm-ups and are enjoying the electric atmosphere inside the stadium. It's a dream come true for so many players out there! Sheer Magic in Poland!

12:05 AM: Can Ole Gunnar Solskjaer repeat his magic?

The current Man Utd manager had scored a historic late goal exactly 22 years back to guide Manchester United to a famous win in Europe.

We are just 30 minutes away from the kickoff!

11:55 PM: The 'Yellow Submarine' fans are making the noise!

Fantastic scenes inside the stadium as the Villareal supporters are absolutely buzzing to see their team play their first-ever European final.


11:45 PM: It's amazing to have the fans back at the PGE Arena Gdansk!

11:30 PM: Interesting selections by both managers!

One of the major talking points ahead of the finals was - Who will replace Harry Maguire in the Man Utd side? While Axel Tuanzebe was expected to start alongside Lindelof, it's Eric Bailly who has got the nod ahead of the youngster. Meanwhile, Juan Foyth has recovered from his hamstring problem as he starts ahead of Mario Gaspar.

11:25 PM: Villarreal's starting line-up is here!

Villarreal line-up (4-4-2): Gero Rulli; Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol (c), Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza; Manu Trigueros, Etienne Capoue, Dani Parejo, Yeremy; Gerard Moreno, Carlos Bacca

11:20 PM: Manchester United's line-up is here!

Man Utd line-up (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Viktor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Paul Pogba; Marcos Rashford, Bruno Fernandes (c), Mason Greenwood; Edinson Cavani

11:10 PM: The trophy that both the teams are fighting for tonight!

Will Manchester United replicate the 2016-17 victory or will Villarreal lift their maiden title?

11:00 PM: Have a glimpse of the beautiful Gdansk Stadium in Poland

The final showdown will begin in exactly 90 minutes from now at this amazing venue where around 9,500 fans are expected to grace the occasion.

10:45 PM: There is not a feeling of revenge: Unai Emery 

Having spent time in England as the boss of Arsenal, Villareal manager Unai Emery has clearly stated that there is no feeling of revenge against English team or team ahead of the final meeting against Manchester United.

Reflecting on the pride he feels while representing Villarreal, he said that he dreams of winning a trophy with the club. He stated, "We’ve given something special to the competition – we have a feeling for this competition."

10:30 PM: Can Gerard Moreno lead Villarreal to a historic triumph?

Villarreal's striker Gerard Moreno has had a dream run this season in Europa League, with 6 goals and 5 assists to his name. Can he repeat his magic once again tonight?

10:15 PM: Man Utd bus set to leave for the stadium

"There are plenty of fans gathering outside the team hotel for United, some peering over fences to try to catch a glimpse of the players. The bus will be aiming to leave very soon with an estimated journey of about 30 minutes to the ground. Excitement is building," as reported by Sky Sports.

10:00 PM: Will lucky No. 26 weave it's magic once again for Solslkjaer?

May 26 is a special day for Manchester United as it is the date of their famous UCL win 22 years ago where the current Man Utd manager scored the winning goal. It is also the birthday Sir Matt Bubsy and Solskjaer believes that the number has always been quite lucky for him and the club.

Man Utd manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said, “My wife’s birthday is on the 26th; we got married on the 26th, so I have to believe in destiny. It’s a special number for us, for my family as well. I’ve got to take this as a good omen. I’m not very superstitious, but it looks like a good sign.”

9:45 PM: Bruno Fernandes speaks ahead of the final showdown

Bruno: It's important for us to win trophies. As players, we want to win. Trophies are part of this club. It's important of course, everyone knows that. And the most important for us is doing what we tend to do and trying to win the game. It's a game of football, anything can happen, we can control some stuff in the game and we will try do do that. No one wants to lose, losing is part of football and you can improve from that but we want to improve from winning trophies.

9:30 PM: Harry Maguire unlikely to feature in tonight's final

Manchester United captain Harry Maguire, who has been struggling with an ankle injury is very likely to be sidelined for tonight's finale. The centre-back sat of the team's final training session in Gdansk on Wednesday and is reportedly not yet match fit. It is going to be a big blow to the Red Devils and Axel Tuanzebe is set to start alongside Viktor Lindelof at the heart of Man Utd's defense.

Check out: All you need to know about Villarreal vs Manchester United - Time, Venue, Live Streaming

Road to the finals

It has been an incredible journey for both the sides in the UEFA Europa League this season. While Villarreal topped the group stage to go ahead in the competition, Manchester United got into the tournament after getting eliminated from the group stages of UEFA Champions League.

This is how both the teams fared in the knock-out stages:

Round of 32: Villarreal beat RB Salzburg (4-1), Man Utd beat Real Sociedad (4-0)

Round of 16: Villarreal beat Dynamo Kyiv (4-0), Man Utd beat AC Milan (2-1)

Quarter-finals: Villarreal beat Dinamo Zagreb (3-1), Man Utd beat Granada (4-0)

Semi-finals: Villarreal beat Arsenal (2-1), Man Utd beat Roma (8-5)

Here are the probable starting XI for both the finalists:

Villarreal predicted line-up (4-4-2): Gero Rulli; Mario Gaspar, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza; Manu Trigueros, Etienne Capoue, Dani Parejo, Yeremy; Gerard Moreno, Paco Alcacer

Man Utd predicted line-up (4-2-3-1): David de Gea; Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Axel Tuanzebe, Viktor Lindelof, Luke Shaw; Scott McTominay, Fred; Marcos Rashford, Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba; Edinson Cavani


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