Tag Archives: Villarreal

Man Utd Lose In Bizarre Penalty Shootout 11-10 To Competitive Villarreal; Ending Season On A Low

Man Utd were defeated in penalties by Villarreal in a wild penalty shootout that ended in the hands of the goal keepers.

The game ended 1-1 after a first half goal from Gerard Moreno and an equalizer from Edison Cavani in the second half, no side could breakthrough in extra time and the game went to penalties.

Man Utd Line Up and Pre-Match Thoughts

Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof were the choice center back pairing with Harry Maguire and Axel Tuanzebe on the bench. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer opted for a more attacking side with three forwards getting the start.

Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford and Edison Cavani all together with Bruno for only the sixth time ever. Injuries and the congested schedule has not allowed such an attacking side being picked often, maybe a nod to the future by Solskjaer.

Scott McTominay fills in with Pogba in the middle, an extremely attack minded side, with Fred, McTominay and Pogba it is a bit safer and more possession minded. One-on-ones for Rashford and Greenwood could be prevalent with Bruno and Cavani occupying the middle.

Man Utd could be susceptible on the break with out a true six and Gerard Moreno is great on the counter. Bacca is a good passing forward as well, one or two passes and they could get behind any defense.

It will be interesting how Man Utd linked defender Pau Torres does against a strong and experienced striker like Cavani. Albiol will likely mark Cavani in the area, if Bruno runs at Albiol it could create mismatches and opportunities for the forwards.

Capoue and Parejo will have to do well in deciding when to press Pogba and Bruno and when to lay off. Juan Foyth gets the nod at right back, but he is also a center back, so he adds a more defensive presence in their back line.

Man Utd Go Behind In The First Half

Scott McTominay got the first decent chance in the sixth minute, McTominay pulled his long range shot well wide, it came after Man Utd won possession in Villarreal’s half.

After the initial spar, Man Utd won possession in Villarreal’s half often, the high press by United worked well in the beginning of the game.

The match became a little feisty before the 20th minute, some decent challenges brought the energy up, and Luke Shaw fizzled a cross/shot that could not find anybody or the back post.

Villarreal looked threatening on a couple of corners, Man Utd had trouble clearing their lines, but Villarreal offered little on the ball and United dominated possession.

Villarreal settled and began to press Man Utd back and won a free kick. Moreno got behind the defense on the subsequent free kick, David de Gea could do nothing and Moreno got his 30th goal of the season.

Man Utd dominated possession after the goal and Villarreal were willing and soaked up the pressure. United just could not get that last pass to create a decent chance.

Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford turned it up at the end of the first half, but United go in the locker room down 1-0.

A Goal By Cavani Sends Man Utd To Extra Time

Set pieces and Man Utd not being able to clear their lines properly allowed Villarreal a golden opportunity early in the second half. United’s frantic defending bailed them out.

McTominay did well to bully his way in the box, his shots were blocked and one gave United a corner. Rashford’s shot from the cleared corner resulted in a scramble and Cavani pounced to level the game early in the second half.

Man Utd sprang to life after the goal and had another opportunity but Bruno’s shot/cross went wide.

Francis Coquelin replaced Bacca in the first change of tactics for either side, Coquelin a defensive minded midfielder signaled that Villarreal were worried about United’s rejuvenated attack.

Cavani had a decent opportunity after Shaw scuffed a right footed shot, Cavani’s header looked to be going in, but Pau Torres blocked it well.

United had a lot of good opportunities and looked really threatening in the middle of the second half. Aaron Wan-Bissaka found a lot of space on the right, but his crossing is not a strength.

Super sub Paco Alcacer entered the game for Yeremy and Moi Gomez replaced Trigueros, two like for like swaps positionally, and Ole continues to opt for the same XI, who have played well.

McTominay played well for United, he had a few driving runs at the Villarreal defense, on one of the runs his low driven cross was nearly flicked in by Cavani at the near post.

Neither side could find that goal and the game finished 1-1 at full time.

A Stale and Tired Extra Time Results In Penalties

Both sides looked tired in extra time and seemed to hope for a mistake by either side. The subs for Villarreal were paying off Alcacer and Alberto Moreno got some decent chances in.

It took 100 minutes for Solskjaer to replace someone, Fred came on for Greenwood who looked exhausted and had a decent game for United.

A scramble for United defensively in the second half of stoppage made things a bit nervy, especially after Fred got away with a handball in the area.

Tuanzebe entered the game for Bailly and Dan James came on for Pogba, a surprise given Pogba’s penalty prowess.

Three added minutes in the second half and Man Utd brought in two more prospective penalty kick tackers, Alex Telles and Juan Mata for McTominay and Wan-Bissaka.

The Bizarre Penalty Shootout!

It was the confident and experienced David de Gea versus the young cup keeper Rulli for Villarreal.

Gerard Moreno, the regular penalty kick tacker for Villarreal, easily beat de Gea on the first penalty sending him the wrong way.

On Mata’s only touch of the game he beat Rulli high, a good penalty for the veteran, but Villarreal again beat de Gea and regained the lead.

The next substitute Telles took the second Man Utd penalty and he beat Rulli easily as well, four lefties, four goals.

Paco Alcacer snuck it past de Gea, a slight touch from the keeper. Bruno, United’s penalty taker, had a repeat of Alcacer’s and snuck it past Rulli, 3-3.

Former Liverpool player Alberto Moreno stepped up and powered it past de Gea. Rashford answered smoothly with a stutter run up and never looked down, 4-4.

Parejo beat de Gea awkwardly to de Gea’s right. Cavani then stepped up and beat Rulli, 5-5 and now sudden death.

Moi Gomez beats de Gea down the middle, but Fred smashes it past Rulli’s left, 6-6. Veteran Albiol was cool as well and sent de Gea the wrong way.

Dan James forced the keeper the wrong way as well and the nerves got really high on the field and in the stadium, 7-7.

Ex Aresnal man Coquelin went top netting and easily beat de Gea. A nervy Luke Shaw then beat Rulli somehow, the keeper got a piece to it as well, 8-8.

Villarreal club captain Mario Gaspar beat de Gea as well. Tuanzebe looked cool and composed before his kick and he was, easily beating Rulli, 9-9.

Man Utd linked defender Pau Torres went high as well and beat de Gea. Lindelof got by Rulli as well, and now it was the keeper’s turn.

Rulli smashed it by de Gea and then saved the penalty by de Gea.

End Of The Season For United

A disappointing ending to the season for United, a lot of people in the media and fans dubbed this game as a building block for United, even Ole.

Losing does not mean that United can not go forward and have a strong next season and be more competitive in the more prestigious tournaments, but it is a blow, winning a trophy is better than losing a trophy.

Manchester United’s Europa League Final Preview: A Final With Possible Future Ramifications That Go Beyond the 20-21 Campaign

Manchester United Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and players Bruno Fernandes and Luke Shaw speak to the media.

Manchester United face Villarreal tomorrow in the Europa League Final and the final game of the 2020-2021 season, it might not be the final that United wants, but it is a final.

The true ambition of a club like United will always be the Champions League Final, every United supporter could agree, but the reality is, United is still a work in progress.

Too take that next step one can conclude that Manchester United must beat Villarreal in this final, if they do not, questions could arise about the capabilities of the players and coaching staff, could they compete for Champions League if they can not win the Europa League?

Manchester United’s Press Conference

Tomorrow’s final could be a catalyst for the future success of the club. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken about that during United’s Europa League run and used his own career as an analogy for how important a team winning a trophy is for the overall chemistry of that team, Ole said this before the Roma game.

β€œIt will be a dream come true, the day I can lift a trophy for this club as a manager, of course. That’s what we’re building for. But for this team and for myself, our ambition this season is to finish it with lifting a trophy and being able to celebrate. I know how much that can mean to a group moving forward.”

“It gives you more of that feeling that you are hungrier for more, you want it all the time, you want that feeling again with your teammates,” said Ole in the press conference for the Europa League final.

Solskjaer also echoed that the final is not about him, and it is for the players.

β€œJust sit back and relax and, if you have to make decisions tomorrow, you have to do it. If it’s been 10 minutes and Luke’s sleeping on the other side, that’s a problem for him.”

Manchester United’s Squad Preview

It was announced last week that Harry Maguire will not feature in the final, a decent sized blow to the cohesion that the defense has created at times in the second half of the season.

Without Maguire, United have given up eight goals in their last four games, four of the goals came against Liverpool who cut United’s defense to shreds in the second half.

The center back pairing could be an interesting one, the pairing of Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly looks the likeliest, but Axel Tuanzebe deserves a shout after the Fulham and Wolves games. His ability to mark quicker players was on display earlier in the season against PSG as well.

The center back pairing is of decent speculation, as well as who would be the first choice keeper, Dean Henderson and David de Gea have both been used in both European and domestic campaigns.

David de Gea has had some great saves lately and Henderson has benefitted have some great team performances. It is hard to say that the teams overall performances revolve around who the keeper is, but when Henderson is in goal the team seems more compact and tight.

When de Gea is in goal, there is almost like there is more trust that he can get a big save and bail out the team if the team plays more attacking.

At the weekend Wolves had only one solid chance, and they scored, Henderson had little to do all match, although it was a lot of youngsters there was emphasis tactical to stay compact.

The Milan games were like that as well, and those matches featured Henderson. When you compare the Milan matches to the Roma matches, it is night and day.

In the Roma matches, de Gea’s talents were on full display in both matches, and Manchester United played some extremely entertaining football because you have a shot stopper that allows your team to go for it.

The decision who starts has massive implications on the game, but also who is going to be the keeper in the future with the club. Tom Heaton looks set to sign and is a likely backup keeper for Manchester United, one of the two could be out the door this summer.

Manchester United’s Opponents

Villarreal finished the La Liga season in the seventh place, four points behind fifth placed Real Sociedad, United easily defeated Sociedad in the round of 32.

A final obviously has a different energy, so anything can happen, Villarreal has some solid players, players that United have been linked to in this upcoming transfer window. But, Villarreal is nothing special and Manchester United should be and are the favorites.

Villarreal defeated a few decent sides to get to the final: RB Salzburg, Dinamo Zagreb, Dynamo Kyiv and Arsenal, no one amazing, but some decent competition with some highly rated players sprinkled in the squads.

Seventh place in La Liga is underachieving for this Villarreal squad on paper, a lot of solid players, Gerard Moreno is their top scorer with 29 goals in all competitions.

Francis Coquelin, Etienne Capoue, Ramiro Funes More and Alberto Moreno all have Premier League experience. Parejo, Trigueros and Albiol are experienced savvy veterans in Spain and Pau Torres has been linked to Manchester United recently.

Carlos Bacca and Paco Alcacer add extra experience in attacking positions as well. Alcacer always has a goal off the bench, at Dortmund he scored a hat-trick off the bench.

Unai Emery’s side underachieved this season in La Liga, but they have a decent side that handled themselves well in the Europa League this season and will offer stern competition to Manchester United in the final tomorrow.

Manchester United’s season hinges on this final, do you go into the summer on a high or a low? That is always the case for a final, the club, the players and the supporters all know that.

This game could be seen as a catalyst if Manchester United use it as a spring board and compete for more prestigious trophies.