The UEFA Europa League Semi-Finals have concluded after two matchups with familiar faces on both sides. Chris Smalling and Roma traveled to Manchester while Unai Emery returned to his old stomping ground with Villarreal, as they took on Arsenal.
Here is a look at how both matchups went and a preview of the Finals.
To see what happened in the Quarter-Finals, click here.
Europa League Semi-Finals
Roma v Manchester United
Leg 1 – Roma 2 – Manchester United 6
Leg 2 – Roma 3 – Manchester United 2
Winner: Manchester United (8-5)
Roma recently appointed Jose Mourinho as their new manager starting at the conclusion of this season. Mouinho will have work to do after his former side thwarted his new team.
It looked like Roma may surprise Manchester United in the first leg after they were up 2-1 at halftime. Things went bad soon after as Man U scored five unanswered in the second half. Four goals was too much for Roma to overcome in the second match, even though they won the leg.
Ole Gunnar Solksjær has finally brought United to a final. Last season they were beaten in the Semi-Finals of the UEL by eventual winners Sevilla.
Villarreal v Arsenal
Leg 1 – Villarreal 2 – Arsenal 1
Leg 2 – Villarreal 0 – Arsenal 0
Winner: Villarreal (2-1)
Arsenal’s disappointing season was capped off with a similarly disappointing defeat to Villarreal. The Gunners are currently on the outside looking in to European competitions in England. Consequently, they sit in ninth with little success this season.
Villarreal were able to down Arsenal in Spain in the first leg, and that slim victory proved to be enough. The second leg had plenty of action, but Arsenal were unable to break the deadlock. Unai Emery got the best of his former team in his return to the Emirates. Villarreal’s trip to the finals is extremely important because they are unable to qualify for the Champions League through La Liga this season. The winner of the Europa League gets a spot in the UCL for the following season.
Europa League Final
Manchester United v Villarreal
Arsenal ruined the chance for both the Champions League Final and Europa League Final to be played by four English clubs. Villarreal are heading in as the heavy underdogs, but they will put up a fight.
Expect a tight match throughout the game, but Man U’s fire power to be a little too much for the Spanish defense.
Predicted Winner: Manchester United
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