Villarreal v Arsenal Live Commentary & Result, 29/04/2021, UEFA Europa League |

Arsenal have struggled to get going, with Rulli yet to be tested in the Villarreal goal and they seem short of ideas in attack, with no real striker out there on the pitch. Getting an away goal in this second half will be a big task.

Villarreal look very comfortable and hold a 2-0 lead at the break, thanks to an early strike from Trigueros, before Albiol doubled their lead from close range just before the half an hour mark. Arsenal thought they had the chance to pull one back from the penalty spot, after Pepe was fouled by Foyth and the referee pointed to the spot. However, after a VAR check it was overturned after Pepe handled it in the build-up.


45′ There will be a minimum of one minute added time played at the end of the first half.

Dani Ceballos

Yellow Card

44′ Foyth once again races forward from the back and Ceballos clips his ankles in order to stop him from breaking into the final third. A deliberate foul and he is booked.

43′ CHANCE! Brilliant run from midfield by Foyth, he skips past a couple of Arsenal players and then feeds Moreno in behind the Arsenal defence. The striker rounds Leno, but then just runs out of room and can’t quite reach the ball to turn it towards goal from a tight angle.

41′ There isn’t long left to play before the end of the first half, can Arsenal pull one back before the half-time whistle?

39′ Arsenal are yet to beat Villarreal away from home, drawing on both previous visits (2006 and 2009). Their one goal in those games was an Emmanuel Adebayor overhead kick assisted by Cesc Fàbregas, while Robert Pires appeared as a substitute for the hosts.

37′ The first yellow card of the game is shown to Torres for his late challenge on Saka deep down the right wing.

35′ NO PENALTY! The referee has changed his decision after looking at the replay, as Pepe is shown to have handled the ball in the build-up. Foyth had also been booked due to the penalty award, so this has been wiped out as well.

35′ VAR CHECK! The officials are checking this penalty decision, as it looks like Pepe may have handled the ball as it came over the top. The referee is going over the monitor.

34′ ARSENAL PENALTY! It comes after a long ball over the top of the Villarreal defence by Xhaka towards Pepe and the Arsenal attacker gets in front of Foyth and the two players get their legs tangled up and the Villarreal right-back brings him down just inside the box. The referee immediately points to the spot.

33′ Decent chance! Moreno finds a little bit of time and space on the edge of the box and he fires a low strike towards goal, but he doesn’t get enough power on it and it flies wide of Leno’s goal.

31′ Arsenal have a huge task ahead of them now, they are 2-0 down with a lot of time left to play here. Can they nick an away goal at least?

29′ Moreno didn’t try and fire his header towards goal, instead just flicking it on towards Albiol at the back post, who simply couldn’t miss from just a few yards out.

29′ GOOOAAALLL! Villarreal double their lead, Albiol fires them 2-0 ahead! It comes after a corner is whipped into the box from the left by Parejo and Moreno flicks it on towards Albiol at the back post, who fires it into the back of the net from close range. The centre-back was completely unmarked, poor defending by Partey, who was supposed to be picking him up.

28′ Decent effort! Partey lines up a shot from the edge of the box, after Odegaard flicks it to him. However, the midfielders effort doesn’t trouble Rulli.

27′ There are a few frustrated Arsenal players out there on the pitch, with a few silly fouls being given away at the moment, which is handing possession straight back to their opponents.

25′ Well wide! Odegaard is found in space on the edge of the box and probably could have a go at goal himself, but instead he opts to pass to Saka to his right, who cuts inside and curls an effort towards the top left corner. However, it flies well wide of the Villarreal goal.

23′ Almost! Arsenal try and counter quickly after defending a corner at the other end. Ceballos tries to feed Pepe in-behind the Villarreal defence and he would have been through on goal, but his pass is poor and Rulli comes out and clears the danger.

21′ Villarreal and Arsenal will play for the fifth time in European competition, with the previous four games taking place in the Champions League (semi-finals in 2005-06 and quarter-finals in 2008-09) – Villarreal are yet to beat the Gunners (D2 L2).

19′ There isn’t a great pace to the game at the moment, with Villarreal showing more intent to push forward, but apart from their goal, they haven’t tested Leno at all.

17′ Saka whips a good ball into the penalty area looking for Pepe at the far post, however, Foyth gets across and makes the clearance. Arsenal just don’t look threatening in the final third at the moment.

15′ Good move! Pepe does well down the left wing, he takes on Foyth and manages to get a good low cross into the penalty area, but it is well blocked at the near post.

13′ Arsenal are yet to get going, they haven’t settled into their rhythm and the hosts look far more comfortable, especially with their early lead.

11′ Trigueros’ strike was the earliest Arsenal have conceded in European competition since September 2016, when Edinson Cavani scored after 42 seconds for PSG in the Champions League.

9′ Villarreal look full of confidence and are constantly getting at the Gunners down the wings. Pedraza has just taken on Chambers down the left and whipped a good low cross into the box, but Leno comfortably gathers.

7′ Arsenal haven’t touched the ball much so far in these opening few minutes, they’ve got it all to do to get something out of this game. An away goal is vital.

5′ Chukwueze tried to work space for the cross of shot himself, but couldn’t find a way through, so his team-mate picked it up instead and Trigueros produced a fine finish.

5′ GOOOAAALLL! Villarreal take the lead after just five minutes, it’s 1-0! It comes after Chukwueze does brilliantly down the right wing, taking on Xhaka and he races into the box and tries to trick his way through, but can’t quite find the gap, with the Arsenal defence nicking it off his toes. However, it falls perfectly to Trigueros who drills it into the bottom left corner of the net from a tight angle. What a start by the hosts!

4′ Villarreal are enjoying more of the early possession here, but it is all in their own half of the pitch as Arsenal are playing a high pressing game and are keeping them penned in.

2′ Offside! Good move by Arsenal, they open up the hosts defence with a quick move as Smith Rowe feeds Pepe in behind, but the flag goes up for offside. However, after looking at the replay, it looks like Pepe was just onside.

The teams are out on the pitch and kick-off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all the match action!

Meanwhile Mikel Arteta only makes one change to his Arsenal side, with Odegaard coming into the team and Nketiah drops to the bench. There is no Alexandre Lacazette for the Gunners and Aubameyang is on the bench, so Pepe leads the line.

The hosts have made two changes to their starting line-up, with Rulli replacing Asenjo in goal and Pedraza comes into the team at left-back, with Alberto Moreno dropping to the bench.

ARSENAL SUBS: Mohamed Elneny, Mat Ryan, Gabriel Martinelli, Eddie Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Arthur Okonkwo, Cedric Soares, Hector Bellerin, David Luiz, Willian, Gabriel, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

ARSENAL (3-5-1-1): Bernd Leno; Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Pablo Mari; Emile Smith Rowe, Dani Ceballos, Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka, Bukayo Saka; Martin Odegaard; Nicolas Pepe.

VILLARREAL SUBS: Jaume Costa, Carlos Bacca, Ramiro Funes Mori, Moi Gomez, Alberto Moreno, Sergio Asenjo, Mario Gaspar, Alex Baena, Francis Coquelin, Fernando Nino, Yeremi Pino, Pervis Estupinan.

VILLARREAL (4-3-3): Geronimo Rulli; Juan Foyth, Raul Albiol, Pau Torres, Alfonso Pedraza; Etienne Capoue, Daniel Parejo, Manu Trigueros; Gerard Moreno, Paco Alcacer, Samuel Chukwueze.

Neither side are in good form coming into this game, with Villarreal losing their last two LaLiga games, against Alaves and Barcelona, which sees them sit seventh in the table. Meanwhile the Gunners are winless in their last two Premier League games, having drawn against Fulham, before a 1-0 defeat against Everton last time out.

Villarreal secured their place in the semi-finals after a 3-1 aggregate victory over Dynamo Zagreb, while Arsenal beat Slavia Prague 5-1 over two legs, following a 4-0 away win.

Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the Europa League semi-final clash between Villarreal and Arsenal.

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