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Arsenal v Villarreal Live Commentary,
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Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
That brings an end to our coverage of the Europa League semi-final second-leg clash between Arsenal and Villarreal at Emirates Stadium. Thank you very much for joining us. Goodbye!
Arsenal will look to respond in their next outing. They face West Bromwich Albion at home in the Premier League. Villarreal, who meet Manchester United in the Europa League final on May 26th, will look to keep their good form going when they host Celta Vigo in LaLiga.
Following a close-fought second-leg clash, Villarreal progress to the Europa League final following a goalless draw at Emirates Stadium. Aubameyang had the best chance of the first half to put the Gunners in front, but he struck the left post after 26 minutes. Arteta’s side showed more intent in the second half, with Smith Rowe and Holding both going close to scoring, before Aubameyang hit the post for a second time with a close-range header 22 minutes from time. Arsenal threw everything at Villarreal in the closing stages, but the Yellow Submarine held on to book their place in the final.
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FULL TIME: ARSENAL 0-0 VILLARREAL (VILLARREAL ADVANCE TO THE EUROPA LEAGUE FINAL WITH A 2-1 AGGREGATE WIN)
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Only Aubameyang (3) has had more attempts for Arsenal in this second-leg match than Holding (2).
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Minutes after coming on, Nketiah picks up a yellow card. The striker is late into the tackle and catches Coquelin on the edge of the visitors’ box. He can have no complaints with that decision.
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Arteta’s fourth alteration sees Nketiah enter the fray in place of Bellerin.
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Emery also brings on Gomez, who replaces Pino.
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With only a few minutes left to play, Pedraza makes way for Moreno.
There will be five minutes of added time at the end of this game.
The away side fail to clear their lines and Lacazette works the ball to the edge of the box for Bellerin. The Spanish full-back goes for goal, but his strike is well blocked by Trigueros.
Pino asks the referee to show Mari a yellow card for that foul, but Vincic instead books the Villarreal winger.
Pino is fouled from behind by Mari, and Villarreal win a free-kick midway inside the hosts' half. Time is running out for Arteta’s team.
Willian cuts into the inside-left channel and floats a right-footed cross into the box. There is a mix-up in communication between Rulli and Torres, which ends with the central defender heading the ball over his own bar and out for a corner. The Yellow Submarine, however, easily clear the following set-piece.
Villarreal have progressed from 15 of their 16 two-legged ties in major European competition when winning the first leg. The only exception was in the 2015-16 Europa League semi-final, when they went out to Liverpool despite winning the first leg.
It is a double change for Arsenal with Willian coming onto the field in place of Tierney.
As we enter the final stages, Aubameyang makes way for Lacazette.
OFF THE INSIDE OF THE POST! Following a Villarreal free-kick from inside the hosts’ half, the Gunners launch a fast counter down the right. Pepe sets Bellerin away in behind the visitors’ defence, and the full-back lifts a cross into the box. Aubameyang rises highest at the back post, but his header hits the inside of the post, cannons against Rulli, and Albiol is alert to hook the loose ball to safety.
An Arsenal corner from the left is knocked to the edge of the box, where Martinelli fires a first-time shot well wide of the near post.
Manchester United now look to have one foot in the final with Cavani scoring the Red Devils’ second away goal at Stadio Olimpico. It is now 8-4 on aggregate in the other semi-final. Who will join them from this tie?
WHAT A HEADER! Smith Rowe picks out Pepe down the right-hand side of the field, and the Ivorian cuts inside and lifts a well-whipped cross into the centre of the box. Holding rises well to steer the ball towards the bottom-left corner, although his header just bounces wide to the left of Rulli’s goal.
The away side make their second alteration of the game, with Bacca entering the fray in place of Alcacer. There are 18 minutes of normal time left to play.
OVER THE BAR! Coquelin nudges Saka from behind and Arsenal win a free-kick down by the left corner flag in the visitors’ half. The English winger floats the set-piece into the box, which Holding heads over from the penalty spot.
Pepe cuts inside and onto his left foot in an advanced position down the right flank, but his lofted cross is easily nodded away by Coquelin.
Emery’s team are enjoying the bulk of the possession now. Arsenal are growing increasingly frustrated and continue to give the ball away with sloppy passes.
With Arsenal in need of a goal, Arteta brings on Martinelli for Odegaard. It remains 0-0 on the night.
Villarreal are starting to grow in confidence now and are seeing plenty of the ball in Arsenal’s half. Moreno works it over to the right for Pedraza, and Mari turn’s the full-back's low cross out for a corner.
In the other semi-final, Roma now lead 2-1 on the night thanks to goals from Edin Dzeko and Bryan Cristante. It is now 7-4 to Manchester United on aggregate.
There is another momentary stoppage in play as Mari is down and in need of treatment after colliding with Alcacer following Moreno’s cross.
Odegaard this time cheaply loses possession inside the Arsenal half to Trigueros, and the midfielder slides the ball to his left for Moreno. The Spaniard gets it out of his feet and fires in a low cross, which just evades Alcacer in the box.
The Yellow Submarine once again attack down the right flank, and Leno is forced to tip Pino’s low cross behind for a corner. The resulting set-piece comes to nothing.
Villarreal are starting to ask more questions of the Gunners as we approach the hour mark. Pino looks to get down the left flank, but his low cross deflects off Tierney and into Partey’s path.
Following the opening 45 minutes, Arsenal have now failed to score in the first half in each of their last six home games.
GOOD OPPORTUNITY! Partey loses the ball in Arsenal’s defensive third and Pino sends it forward for Alcacer. The Spaniard lays it off to Moreno, and the striker’s tame shot from the centre of the box is gathered by Leno, who was quickly down to his right to make the save. That is a let off for the hosts!
There is going to a brief stoppage in play as Pepe and Gaspar are down inside the Villarreal penalty area following a clash of heads.
WIDE! The home side break with pace along the far side, and Bellerin dinks a cross into the box. Rulli comes out and fails to punch the ball to safety, and it falls kindly for Smith Rowe, who just cannot get enough curl on the shot to place it inside the far post from close range.
NOT FAR AWAY! Arsenal come forward down the left flank and Tierney lifts a clever chip between the lines for Pepe. The Ivorian watches the ball and fires a curling half volley from the left side of the box inches wide of the far post. That is much better from the home side.
We are back underway! Vincic, the referee, blows his whistle and Arsenal get the second half kicked off.
Arteta will hope to see more of an offensive threat from his side after the restart following a tentative first half. The home side have had joy when switching the ball over to the right flank with lofted diagonal passes, and that is an area that the Gunners should look to exploit in the second half. Emery, meanwhile, will be pleased with his side’s performance thus far. The Yellow Submarine's high press has caused the hosts problems, while the Spanish team have also done well to nullify Arsenal’s attack.
Following a cagey opening 45 minutes, there’s nothing to separate Arsenal and Villarreal at half-time at Emirates Stadium. The visitors started brightly, with Chukwueze forcing a fingertip save out of Leno in the opening five minutes, before Parejo went close with free-kick shortly after. Aubameyang almost broke the deadlock after 26 minutes, but his outside-of-the-foot strike cannoned against the far post following a corner. Rulli almost handed the Gunners the opener 10 minutes from the break after letting Aubameyang’s shot run through his legs before reacting quickly to dive onto the loose ball.
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HALF TIME: ARSENAL 0-0 VILLARREAL (VILLARREAL LEAD 2-1 ON AGGREGATE)
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Pepe spots Tierney’s overlapping run, and the Scottish full-back's low cross is blocked behind for a corner off Gaspar. From the resulting set-piece, Albiol wins a free-kick in the middle of the box from Holding.
There will be three minutes of added time at the end of the first half.
In the other semi-final, Edinson Cavani has put Manchester United 1-0 ahead on the night against Roma. The Red Devils now lead 7-2 on aggregate.
Alcacer comes deep to collect the ball midway inside the visitors’ half, and Holding comes through the back of him in trying to steal possession. Villarreal win a free-kick.
Following a corner from the right, Parejo’s delivery is flicked on towards the far post, where Albiol is positioned to fire a first-time shot at Pepe. The ball runs behind for another corner, which the home side deal with.
NEARLY THE OPENER! Smith Rowe collects the ball in the centre of the pitch and drives forward with pace before sending a pass over to the left for Aubameyang. The Gabonese attacker cuts onto his right foot and fires a curling shot at Rulli, who loses the ball through his legs before gathering it just before it rolled over the line.
Coquelin cynically pulls back Odegaard a few yards inside the visitors’ half and Arsenal win a free-kick. The Norwegian’s set-piece is flicked behind for a goal-kick by Mari.
The Yellow Submarine are content to knock the ball around inside their own half and frustrate the home side, who continue to struggle to break down Villarreal’s resolute defence.
The Gunners have lost just one of their 11 knockout clashes with Spanish opponents on home soil (W7 D3). That sole defeat came back in February 2016 against Barcelona in the Champions League last-16 (0-2).
Bellerin looks to drive beyond Pedraza down the right flank and steer a cross into the box. The full-back manages to chase a heavy touch and hook a low delivery into the penalty area, but it is easy for Rulli to collect.
Emery is forced into making his first change of the night as Chukwueze is stretchered off. The Nigerian is replaced by Pino.
There will be a brief stoppage in play as Chukwueze is down and in need of treatment. The injury appeared to happen off the ball and around no other players.
OFF THE POST! The visitors fail to clear their lines following a corner from the left, and Aubameyang fires a first-time outside-of-the-foot shot against the far post from the right-hand side of the penalty area.
The ball bounces kindly for Tierney, who opts to try his luck with an ambitious long-range effort that sails wide of the far post.
CLOSE! Parejo takes a short run up, but his right-footed free-kick does not quite dip enough as it flies a few inches over the top of the bar.
Arsenal sloppily lose the ball deep inside their own half, and Partey concedes a free-kick for catching Parejo late on the edge of the penalty area. The Spaniard is standing over the resulting set-piece.
Bellerin cuts inside from the right flank and goes down under pressure from Pedraza. The referee awards the hosts a free-kick midway inside the Villarreal half.
Partey plays a diagonal pass down the right flank for Pepe, which is an area that Arsenal are seemingly looking to exploit. Pedraza stands his ground against the Ivorian and the ball deflects kindly for Rulli to collect.
Saka wins a corner to the right off Pedraza, and Odegaard’s resulting set-piece is punched away by Rulli.
Partey fires a lofted back-pass to Leno, which forces the German to scramble back at speed and head the ball away from the goal.
Mari takes a chance in delaying a forward pass from deep inside his own half, and his eventual clearance cannons against Moreno before being gathered by Leno.
Mari floats an inch-perfect flighted throughball down the right-hand side of the field for Saka, but Trigueros gets across to cover and regain possession for Villarreal.
Tierney lofts a pass down the left flank and beyond the visitors’ defence for Smith Rowe to chase. The winger collects the ball and lays it back to Pepe, but his in-field pass is intercepted.
After Pepe scored an all-important away goal in the first leg, a 1-0 win will be enough to send the Gunners through to the final.
GOOD SAVE! The away side are enjoying a good spell of early possession as they seek to find their rhythm. Coquelin switches the play over to the right and Gaspar knocks the ball down for Chukwueze, who sees his well-struck left-footed shot from the edge of the box tipped behind for a corner by Leno.
Pepe wins a corner to the left off the former Arsenal midfielder, Coquelin. Odegaard sends an out-swinging delivery into the centre of the box which Albiol heads clear.
Kick-off! The referee, Slavko Vincic, blows his whistle and Villarreal get the game underway.
Xhaka has picked up an injury in the warm up. Tierney comes in to start in his place.
The teams are out, and kick-off will soon be upon us here at Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are winless their last two home games in European competition (D1 L1), after winning 11 out of the previous 13.
Arteta’s team have only suffered defeat in one of their previous six home matches in the Europa League. In that time, however, the Gunners have only kept one clean sheet. Prior to this game, Arsenal have progressed from each of their last two European knockout ties after losing the first leg. The visitors, on the other hand, come into this match having won five of their last six fixtures on the road in Europe. Emery has seen El Submarino Amarillo keep four clean sheets in each of their previous four Europa League away games.
Mikel Arteta makes seven changes from the Arsenal side that beat Newcastle last time out in the Premier League. Leno, Holding, Mari, Partey, Smith Rowe, Saka and Pepe start ahead of Ryan, David Luiz, Gabriel, Elneny, Dani Ceballos, Willian and Martinelli. Ceballos is unavailable through suspension, while Luiz has a hamstring issue. Unai Emery, on the other hands, makes six alterations to the Villarreal line-up that faces his former side. Rulli, Albiol, Pedraza, Coquelin, Trigueros and Moreno come into the team in place of Asenjo, Funes Mori, Estupinan, Etienne Capoue, Raba and Gomez. Capoue is out of this second-leg clash after picking up a red card at Estadio de la Ceramica in the reverse fixture.
VILLARREAL SUBS: Sergio Asenjo, Alberto Moreno, Pervis Estupinan, Jaume Costa, Ruben Pena, Ramiro Funes Mori, Alex Baena, Moi Gomez, Dani Raba, Yeremi Pino, Fernando Nino, Carlos Bacca.
ARSENAL SUBS: Arthur Okonkwo, Mat Ryan, Cedric Soares, Calum Chambers, Kieran Tierney, Gabriel Magalhaes, Mohamed Elneny, Reiss Nelson, Willian, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette.
VILLARREAL (4-3-3): Geronimo Rulli; Mario Gaspar, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza; Daniel Parejo, Francis Coquelin, Manu Trigueros; Gerard Moreno, Samuel Chukwueze, Paco Alcacer.
ARSENAL (3-4-3): Bernd Leno; Rob Holding, Pablo Mari, Granit Xhaka; Hector Bellerin, Emile Smith Rowe, Thomas Partey, Bukayo Saka; Nicolas Pepe, Martin Odegaard, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Following their 2-1 defeat at Estadio de la Ceramica in the first leg, Arsenal responded with a two-goal away win over Newcastle in their last Premier League outing. Villarreal, on the other hand, made it back-to-back wins with a 1-0 victory over Getafe in LaLiga.
Hello and welcome to live match coverage of the Europa League semi-final second-leg clash between Arsenal and Villarreal at Emirates Stadium.