Villarreal have knocked out Arsenal of the Europa League to qualify for the final after earning a barren draw in the second leg of their semifinal tie at the Emirates stadium, winning 2-1 on aggregate, the scoreline from the first leg.

Under the Tutelage of immediate past Arsenal manager, Unai Emery, Villarreal progressed to the first final of an European competition for the first time in the club's history.

The last time Villarreal played in a European cup semifinal was in the 2005/2006 Champions League season when they lost out to Arsenal. Arsenal won the first leg at Highbury 1-0 courtesy of a Kolo Toure goal and the second leg ended in a barren stalemate after Jens Lehman saved a last minute penalty from Juan Roman Riquelme. Arsenal eventually lost the final 1-2 to Barcelona.


As speculated, it was a game that would decide Arsenal, as well as Mikel Arteta's future. It was the only available logical window for Arsenal to make it to Europe next season.

Having started Pierre Emerick Aubameyang from the bench in the first leg, Arteta threw his captain in from the beginning and also, Kieran Tierney was a last minute inclusion in the starting lineup to replace Granit Xhaka who picked up an injury during warm up.

Despite being ahead on aggregate, the visitors enjoyed a good range of possession and also created the better chances in the opening minutes of exchange.

Samuel Chukwueze, who was later stretchered off and replaced by Yemeri Pino in the first half, forced a save off Bernd Leno as early as the 4th minute. The Nigerian received a pass from Gaspar at the edge of the 18-yard box for a curling effort at goal.

Arsenal struggled to create chances and their first real chance came almost after half of the first half had gone, with Aubameyang hitting the outside of the post after Villarreal failed to clear their lines from a corner kick.

The home side picked themselves up at the restart and got two glorious opportunities to open scoring. Nicholas Pepe fired wide his half volley in th 47th minute and two minutes later, Emile Smith Rowe failed to find the far post after Rulli spilled Hector Bellerin's cross from the right flank.

Villarreal will threaten again. Thomas Partey, who was not at his best on the night, lost the ball in his own half. Pino released Paco Alcacer and the Spaniard found his strike partner, Moreno but his tame shot was easily gathered by Bernd Leno.

Arsenal missed another glorious opportunity. Bukayo Saka won a free kick off Francis Coquelin close to the Villarreal box in the 71st minute. The English youngster lifted the resulting kick into the box, which was met by a Rob Holding towering header, but he could only manage to guide it wide.

Holding was on hand again on the 74th minute to attack a Nicholas Pepe cross, after a neat work from Smith Rowe but like the first, he failed to hit the target with his header.

Aubameyang would hit the woodwork the second time on the night. This time, he hit the inside of the post with his header. The Gunners had launched a counterattack after a Villareal free kick in their half. Pepe freed the advancing Bellerin on the right, who found Aubameyang with a decent cross. The former Dortmund forward couldn't do enough to find the net.


The inability of the home side to create real goal scoring opportunities culminated in them managing just two shots on target in the whole duration of the game.

With their major hope of a return to Europe next season gone, in over 25 years, Arsenal are on the brink of failing to qualify for Europe. Currently lying 9th on the premier league log, they will need results to go their way in the last four rounds of games and also ensure they secure maximum points if they're to qualify for Europa league spots through the league.

Villarreal have now succeeded in reaching their first final in an European competition while their manager, Unai Emery has reached his fifth final, having previously reached four; three with Sevilla, all of which he won and one with Arsenal in 2019, where he lost 4-1 to Chelsea.