Super Eagles and Villarreal striker Samuel Chukwueze won his first major silverware as the Yellow Submarines defeated Manchester United in the UEFA Europa League final on Wednesday in Gdansk, Poland.
The Nigeria international whose club was considered the underdog to the match was left out from the starting eleven due to his recovering from injury.
With the atmosphere at the stadium back to life as spectators returned in higher numbers, Manchester United started the game pushing their opponent to the defense in the better part of the first half. But Villareal capitalized on the opening observed during the pressure from United with a counter attack to get the opener in the first half.
Uruguayan international Edinson Cavani equalised for the Red Devils to bring hope alive to fans that travelled to Gdanks. The game continued with Manchester United dominating possession, at full time the game ended Villarreal 1-1 Manchester United.
During their penalty shootout which can be considered as one of the longest in European football. Spain international and United goalkeeper, David De Gea missed a painful penalty as the Yellow Submarines were crowned champions of UEFA Europa League. The penalty ended Villarreal (11) 1-1 (10) Manchester United.
With Villarreal now in the history books alongside some of the greats in European football, former Arsenal coach and current manager of Villarreal, Unai Emery makes his fourth trophy in Europe in five finals with the triumph in Poland.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt his team did not take advantage of the dominance of possession during the match.
“They made it hard for us, made it difficult, closed the spaces,” Solskjaer told BT Sport.
He added “we had the majority of the possession and they defended well. We didn’t create enough big spaces.
“Now’s not the time to point the finger at what I would have done different, but when you come out with no trophy then you’ve not done everything right.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, praised his team despite not coming out successful and encouraged his players for the future challenge.
“We’re getting better and better and closer. We were one kick away from a trophy and a good night.
“We have to have the desire to come back next year, improve, get better. The only way to get the margins on your side is to work harder and better.” Solskjaer said.
Meanwhile, 49 year-old, Unai Emery, thanked his players for the hard work which he described as “impeccable.”
“In the Europa League we have been absolutely impeccable. Some days we were coming at 6am to the stadium to prepare a game for the Sunday. All this makes the journey [worthwhile]. Emery told the conference.
Spaniard Unai Emery have had most of his coaching career in Spain before moving to Arsenal this season, he joined Villarreal after he was relieved of his job by the London club.