Emirates Stadium is the place where Arsenal got a visit from Villarreal in the Europa League semifinal. We got the player ratings.
Both Unai Emery and Villarreal had a chance at revenge against Arsenal tonight at Emirates Stadium. The Spanish manager was kicked out of the team and Mikel Arteta took his place only to maintain the mediocre level of performance. As far as the Spanish team goes, they wanted revenge for the 2006 Champions League semifinal heartbreak.
During the first leg of this semifinal, Villarreal got a valuable victory that got them an actual shot at getting to the final. Today, Emery demanded outstanding defensive work from his players in a game he knew the Gunners would have control of the match. But as time progressed, they realized that scoring a goal against them would prove difficult. It was an all-out battle that was fought on Villarreal’s box but the defenders were always on point.
Emery parks the bus against the Gunners.
In the second half, Mikel Arteta’s modifications served for nothing as Unai Emery parked the bus and never allowed the locals to get a clear chance. He knew that these players would quickly get frustrated as time kept going by. Arsenal wasn’t able to penetrate the Villarreal defense and they also spoiled an all-English affair in European football finals.
They became the only Spanish side to reach these stages and made their country proud. In an era where the Premier League dominates the continent, the Yellow Submarine stands as the only anomaly. The Gunners weren’t able to get that goal that could’ve changed everything for them due to the away goal they scored last week. It’s hard to deny that the current crisis inside the club didn’t affect the players. Perhaps it’s time for a new chapter in the club’s history.
Arsenal: Leno (5), Mari (5), Bellerin (4), Tierney (6), Holding (5), Partey (6), Odegaard (6), Smith-Rowe (5), Saka (6), Aubameyang (4), Pepe (4).
Bench: Martinelli (5), Lacazette (5), Willian (6), Nketiah (6).
Villarreal: Rulli (8), Albiol (8), Gaspar (7), Torres (8), Parejo (7), Coquelin (7), Trigueros (7), Pedraza (6), Chukwueze (6), Alcacer (6), Moreno (6).
Bench: Pino (7), Bacca (7), Gomez (7), Moreno (7), Dalot (5).
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