Category Archives: European Football

2021 EuropA League Final Live Blog

Welcome to this liveblog for the Europa League final between Sevilla Villarreall and Sevilla Manchester United.

Here’s the team news:

Villarreall

Formation: 1-4-3-3

Rulli (GK), Foyth, Albiol, Torres, Alfonso Pedraza, Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros, Moreno, Pino, Bacca

Line-up Facts
  • Bacca scored 2 goals for Sevilla in their victory over Ukrainian side Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in the 2015 Europa League Final.
  • Moreno is joint top scorer in the Europa League with 5 goals, as is Samuel Chukweueze who misses the final through injury.
Manchester United

Formation: 1-4-2-3-1

de Gea, Wan-Bissaka, Lindelof, Bailly, Shaw, Pogba, McTominay, Greenwood, Fernandes, Rashford, Cavani.

Line-Up Facts
  • Baily and Lindelof have only started 4 games together this season.
  • Bruno Fernandes has scored 4 goals in the Europa League, the most of any Manchester United player.

Manchester United previously won the Europa League in 2017, beating Ajax in the final. They have lifted major European trophies 5 other times, winning the Champions League/European Cup 3 times, European Cup Winners’ Cup once, and the European Super Cup once.

Conversely, Villarreal have never previously reached a major European Final. They were Champions League semi-finalists in 2006, and Europa League semi-finals in 2004, 2011, and 2016. They did however, win 2 Intertoto Cups, in 2003 and 2004.

Kick-off

Curious to see how Man Utd defend. It’s an attacking line-up with Pogba in the midfield 2, rather than pushed forward, which means Fred is excluded and there is an extra defensive burden on McTominay.

9′ Injury to Juan Foyth, he’s bleeding from the bridge of his nose. He is back up walking, Pogba was quick to point out the injury. He’s off the get cleaned up but it looks like he’ll be back on.

United the more lively so far. Greenwood i particular making a lot of good runs. No clear chances but hints of danger, Villarreal haven’t been able to muster up much.

Villarreal are unbeaten in the Europa League this season, one of those wins was an awarded victory due to COVID. Man Utd dropped down from the UCL.

Shithouse Steve has his say on the important aspects of the game

15′ Villarreal have their first corner. Went for a long ball around the back where they made space. Good routine but nothing comes of it.

Foyth’s gone off after coming back on. Blood was coming through his bandage. The issue is he may have to change the jersey again.

Luke Shaw put in a fantastic ball a few minutes ago, Cavni tried to find Rashford with a flick but possibly could have gone for it. At the other end Carlos Bacca played an audacious flick in to the box, the kind we’ve all tried at some point in indoor football.

Better start for United think, without really creating anything. Both teams looking to play out from the back, with United looking more comfortable doing so.

Referee is letting a lot more go than you’d expect of a man who has dished out four red cards in his last four games.

Shithouse Steve has his say.

I expected the Europa League final to be decided by an injury time Bruno Fernandes penalty in injury time as soon as Man United dropped down, still sticking with that.

Ronny’s prophecy

29′ GOAL Villarreall! Parejo sends a perfectly-weighted freekick into the box, Moreno makes a great run despite his jersey being pulled and touches the ball into the net. Villarreal’s 100th goal of the season, a 2nd well-worked set piece of the night, and a first shot on target.

Looking at Spain’s forward options for the Euros, surely Moreno starts as the out and out striker, that is if they play one and don’t throwback to the 1-4-6-0. When they played that way they lacked a target man so Moreno can act as that while flanked by two of Torres, Traore, Olmo, Oyarzabal, or Ruiz.

Ronny plotting Spain’s path to Euro glory.

Manchester United have already qualified for the Champions League through the League, but Villarreall need to win here to qualify for next seasons big one. Otherwise they will be in the Europa Conference, having finished 7th in the league.

United need to get rid of Lindelof before next season if they want to make the jump to challenge for big trophies

Rodg, a Liverpool fan, offering advice to Manchester United

Villarreall looking more confident in the game now. As usual the 5 minutes before and 5 minutes after halftime will be key.

44′ Pino just ran the pitch and should have been awarded a corner, the ball hit Luke Shaw’s hand and went out, would have been a very harsh penalty but surprising that VAR didn’t check it.

2 minutes added on, United just had their best chance. Greenwood sent in a ball, Albiol didn’t know a lot about it but knocked the ball into Rulli’s hands.

Halftime: Villarreall 1-0 Manchester United

United have had more of the ball but Villarreall are forcing them out wide.

Villarreall took their one chance but they look very slow and Unite maybe figured out the best way to get at them is to run directly st the full backs towards the end of the second half.

Shithouse Steve remains optimistic

1-0 down in a European Final, Ole needs to bring on himself to get the come back going

Ronny harking back to 1999

Second-half begins

Another fantastic chance for Villarreal off a set piece. This time a freekick that probably shouldn’t have been one.

Cavani intercepted in a dangerous area but commits a foul. United starting to raise the tempo.

Going to VAR for a penalty check for Man Utd, looked like it was two players colliding. Nothing given.

55′ GOAL Manchester United! Cavni in the right place to control a deflected shot and score. 1-1. Long VAR check but it’s given.

All Man United. Hard to see Villarreal getting anything except on the break.

17 minutes to go. United all over Villarreall. The Spanish side can’t create anything.

Into the last 7 minutes. Not sure how United haven’t a second scored yet.

This is so unstructured, I can’t remember seeing a game quite like it.

Shithouse Steve is befuddled

Pogba can’t get his header on target with a minute to go.

3 minutes added on.

FT Villarreall 1-1 Manchester United, going to extratime

Extratime First Half

Villarreall playing with a lot more confidence, fresh faces have done them good. They have created a few half chances so far.

Wan Bissaka and Shaw have been very good so far for United. They’ve stretched play going forward but have not neglected their defensive duties. McTominy has been lively and got stuck in.

Villarreall have had a couple of chances. Fred’s come on to sure up the defense, surely Pogba pushes up.

ExtraTime HT Villarreall 1-1 Manchester United

Not a well structured game.

ExtraTimeSecond Half

Hope we at least get penalties at this rate.

Ref has a big decision to make. The ball hit Fred’s hand in the box, but before that McTominay got an elbow. They’ve gone to VAR to check. Beily has gone off for Tuanzebe, amd Daniel James comes on for Pogba. Surprised to see Pogba go off, Rashford had picked up a knock.

Shaw is down now with a wrist injury. Juan Mata coming on. 3 Minutes added on. Penalties look inevitable.

Man United making 2 subs in injury time with penalties in mind, Mata and Telles coming on. Game nearly over.

FT Villarreall 1-1 Manchester United, going to penalties

Penalties

Villarreall take first.

Moreno scores calmly 1-0

Mata scores 1-1

Raba scores 2-1

Telles scores 2-2

Alcacer scores… just 3-2

Fernandes scores… just 3-3

Moreno scores in the corner 4-3

Rashford scores 4-4

Parejo scores 5-4

Cavani scores 5-5

Sudden Death

Gomez Scores down the middle 6-5

Fred scores in the corner 6-6

Albiol scores a sexy penalty 7-6

James scores 7-7

Coquelin scores, top right 8-7

Shaw scores despite the keeper getting an arm to it 8-8

Mario Gaspar scores 9-8

Tuanzebe scores 9-9

Torres scores, places it, 10-9

Lindelof scores 10-10

Rulli scores effortlessly 11-10

De Gea steps up… Rulli saves! 11-10

Villarreall are Europa League Champions!

23-Man Squad of Players Knocked Out Of The 20/21 UCL Last 16

The Champions League final is this month. Ronny’s put together a 23-man squad of players that were eliminated from the UCL at the Last 16 stage.

Goalkeeper (3)

Regulation 3 Goalkeepers.

Jan Oblak (Atleti de Madrid)

Good with his hands which is handy for a goalkeeper (haha, hahaha, haha, ha). Reads the game well, has been one of the best since joining Atleti.

Marc Andre Ter Stegen (Barcelona)

Number 2 but only just, story of his international career. Like Germany’s number one he can play the sweeper-keeper role.

Péter Gulácsi (Leipzig)

One of the more experienced players in a young Leipzig team who has been vital to their success. Will represent Hungary in the Euros in the Summer.

Defenders (6)

Planning on playing a back 3 so light on center-backs.

Nico Elvedi (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Still young but already a useful defender who can play in the middle or on the right.

José Giménez (Atleti de Madrid)

A leader in the Atleti team. Can step into a defensive midfield role.

Willi Orbán (Leipzig)

Another experienced head in a young Leipzig side

Matthijs de Ligt (Juventus)

Has gone under the radar somewhat since moving to Juve, but still a big defensive presence in any team.

Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

A legendary defender and a master of shithousery.

Rafael Tolói (Atalanta)

Atalanta’s captain earns a spot by being Atalanta’s captain.

Midfielders (9)

Always stack the midfield.

Sergio Milinkovic-Savic (Lazio)

An all-round midfielder who will be one of the biggest talents to not get to light up the Euros.

Florian Nehaus (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Linked with a lot of big clubs including Manchester City.

Koke (Atleti de Madrid)

Recently moved into a more defensive role but can still be a creative presence.

Saul (Atleti de Madrid)

Another all-round midfielder.

Luis Alberto (Lazio)

Can play up front, but even when he does his workrate makes him a box-to-box player.

Dominik Szoboszlai (Leipzig)

Moved in January from Salzburg. Very creative and has that x-factor.

Christopher Nkunku (Leipzig)

Can play on either flank and creates going forward.

De Jong (Barcelona)

Like De Ligt, hasn’t yet lived up to his full potential, but he’s still young and is a great midfield destroyer with vision.

Athur (Juventus)

Starts moves off from deep and is difficult to get the ball off.

Forwards (5)

Plenty going on here.

Alassane Pléa (Borussia Mönchengladbach)

Scored 5 goals and got 3 assists in this seasons competition.

Ciro Immobile (Lazio)

Journey-men can eventually find a home. He’s prolific for Lazio.

Youssef En-Nesyri (Sevilla)

Scored 6 goals in this seasons competition.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Juventus)

Decent.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

Fairly good.