UEL Stats: Unai Emery continues Europa love affair, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's unique first

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Arsenal were held at arm's length by Unai Emery's Villarreal in London for a 0-0 draw, as they lost 2-1 on aggregate. More than a thousand miles away, in Rome, the scoreline was a little different. AS Roma beat Manchester United 3-2 on the night, but lost out 8-5 on aggregate.

So, ahead of Villarreal vs. Manchester United in the final of the UEFA Europa League, here are the best stats from the semifinal action --



This is the first season Arsenal have failed to reach the final of a major European or domestic cup competition since 2015-16 (they had made the 2016-17 FA Cup, 2017-18 League Cup, 2018-19 Europa League & 2019-20 FA Cup finals since).


This will be Villarreal's first ever major European final.


Villarreal are the third highest scorers this UEL season, with 27 goals (of course, they didn't add to this tally on Thursday night). The only ones who scored more? The teams that went out of the competition on Thursday night -- Arsenal (33) and Roma (31).

No one, though, has kept more clean sheets in this season's competition than them (7 alongside Dinamo Zagreb).


This will be Unai Emery's 5th Europa League final. He has won the competition three times (2014, 2015, 2016). That's tied with Giovanni Trapattoni for most by a manager in UEFA Cup/Europa League history.


Arsenal are 9 points behind West Ham United in 5th place (sole Europa League spot) in the Premier League standings. Their loss here means that they are in real danger of not competing in a UEFA competition for the first time since 1995-96. That was the season before Arsene Wenger arrived.



This will be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first major tournament final as manager of Manchester United. He has now become the first person to reach a major European Cup final as both a player and manager for Man United.


Edinson Cavani is the first player to score 2+ goals in both legs of a two-legged semi-final in a major European competition since Klaus Allofs for 1. FC Köln vs. KSV Waregem in the 1985-86 UEFA Cup.


On Thursday night, Mason Greenwood (19y & 217d) became the youngest ever Englishman and third-youngest player overall (after Norman Whiteside and George Best) to reach 100 appearances for Manchester United.


Manchester United have progressed to their eighth major European final. The only English team who have reached more are Liverpool (14).


Manchester United are only the second side in UEFA Cup/Europa League history to score 8+ goals across both legs of a semi-final tie. The first was Alaves, who scored 9 against 1. FC Kaiserslautern in 2000-01.


With his ninth goal against them, Edin Dzeko has now scored more goals against Manchester United in all competitions than any other opponent in his career in Europe's big-five leagues. Indeed, no player has scored more against United since he first faced them in 2009 (level with a certain Sergio Aguero).


Manchester United 8-5 Roma produced a total of 13 goals over the two legs, the joint-second highest tally across two legs of any major UEFA competition semi-final, behind only Eintracht Frankfurt 12-4 Rangers in the 1959-60 European Cup.



With Manchester United reaching the UEL final and Manchester City facing Chelsea in the Champions League final, this is the 2nd time that England has at least 3 finalists in one European season (European Cup/UCL & UEFA Cup/UEL).

The other instance was in 2019, with all-English finals in both UCL (Liverpool vs. Tottenham) and UEL (Chelsea vs. Arsenal).


Manchester United and Villarreal have faced each other on four previous occasions, twice in 2005 and twice in 2008. All four matches ended 0-0.

(Stats courtesy ESPN's Stats & Information Group)