Can United win the Europa League?
ManUnited and Arsenal for the English Europa League final
Rome / London - As it was two years ago, the final of the Europa League could be a purely English affair. Manchester United will go into the semi-final second leg against AS Roma on Thursday with a reassuring 6-2 lead and will probably not be able to take their ticket for the final on May 26th in Gdansk. In the second duel (9 p.m. / live pulse 4), Arsenal want to make up for their 2-1 away defeat against Villarreal in London.
But Villarreal can rely on an expert. Unai Emery had led Sevilla FC to three victories from 2014 to 2016 and, after moving to North London, also reached the final with the Gunners in 2019 (1: 4 against Chelsea). Now the Basque is aiming for his fifth EL final and the first big title with the club from near Valencia.
Villarreal on the move
"It's important that we have a clear idea of what to do. We have an advantage, but we will find situations that can change everything. It won't be easy," said Emery. Villarreal traveled to the island with a series of nine wins en suite in the Europa League. On the way to the semi-finals, the Spaniards could not be stopped in the round of 32 before Red Bull Salzburg (2-0, 2-1).
Arsenal have won their previous two knockout duels with Submarino Amarillo (Yellow Submarine) in the Champions League in 2006 and 2009. Thanks to Nicolas Pepe's penalty goal, the chances are good now. But the pressure is clearly on the English side.
While Villarreal would be sixth in Spain in the next season in the European Cup, there is a lot going on for Arsenal in the Europa League. As ninth in the Premier League, the club is outside the international starting places. A final victory in the second highest European club competition would also mean a permanent place in the upcoming Champions League.
Aubameyang recovering from malaria
Mikel Arteta is therefore under observation. The Spanish coach on the English side can count on attacker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has recovered from malaria. "Tomorrow is a big moment for the club because of everything that has happened in the past two years, all this inconsistency. It would be very important if we could get to the final and win the trophy," admitted Arteta. They don't want to be confused by speculation about the sale of the club. "The best way to help the club is to win," said Arteta.
In Rome, two days after Manchester City in the Champions League, the second club is also about to reach the finals. The "Red Devils" have already won the 2017 Europa League under Jose Mourinho. The Portuguese will look after the Roma from summer. His tips will probably no longer help the Italians in Rome. The Romans also grapple with injury concerns. United has dealt with the fans' displeasure with the US owners in the past few days. In an open letter to business partners of the Glazer family, a fan group wrote that their products would be boycotted. They are "legitimate targets" of the worldwide following.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Wednesday: "It is everyone's right to protest but it has to be civilized." The Glazers would work to improve their communication with the supporters, Solskjaer explained. He had received a personal apology from the owners after the heavily criticized Super League efforts. (APA, 5.5.2021)
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