Born in the south east of Ireland, Simon put his life-long love of football to good use when he started a successful independent blog in 2010. That opened up an alternative route to a career in journalism, and having had work published across a number of sites and publications, Simon joined the staff at Spotlight Sports Group in 2018.
Manchester United were sunk by the Yellow Submarine on Wednesday evening when Villarreal made history to win the 2020/21 Europa League on penalties in Gdansk.
The Spanish outfit won 11-10 in a remarkable round of spot-kick roulette with United keeper David de Gea’s meek effort and subsequent miss the final’s decisive moment.
The gripping final act was a fitting finale to an enthralling campaign in the continent’s secondary club competition, and below, we’ve taken a look back at the tournament in our special feature – the 2020/21 Europe League in numbers.
The 2020/21 Europa League in numbers
0 – the number of games Villarreal lost in this season’s Europa League. The champions played 15 fixtures in total starting with their 5-3 victory over Sivasspor on Oct 22 last year and ending with their penalty kick triumph over Man Utd on Wednesday.
1 – the number of times Villarreal have won the Europa League in the club’s history. The last piece of silverware they had won before Wednesday was the Intertoto Cup in 2004.
4 – the number of times Unai Emery has won the Europa League. Emery lifted the trophy three times with Sevilla before his latest success this week. The Spanish coach has led a team to the competition’s final on five separate occasions. No manager has won more UEL titles than the former Arsenal boss.
5 – remarkably, Rangers’ star Alfredo Morelos finished as the tournament’s joint most creative player with five assists alongside Villarreal’s Samu Chukuwese and Braga’s Galeno.
7 – four players finished as the joint top scorers in the Europa League with seven goals each this season. Roma’s Borja Mayoral, Benfica’s Pizzi, Lille’s Yusuf Yazici and Villarreal’s goal-scoring hero in the final Gerard Moreno.
8 – the number of goals scored in the three highest scoring fixtures in the tournament – Bayer Leverkusen’s 6-2 win against Nice, Man Utd’s 6-2 victory against Roma and Villarreal’s 5-3 triumph over Sivasspor.
190 – Slavia Prague committed 190 fouls in their 12 Europa League fixtures this season – the highest number in that metric for the entire competition. Incredibly, Slavia were also the joint most fouled team in the tournament alongside Roma (158).
199 – the number of shots mustered by Arsenal over the course of their UEL campaign. No other team in the tournament racked up as many attempts as the Gunners. Arsenal also finished as the competition’s top scorers with 33 goals.
618 – the total number of goals scored in the 2020/21 Europa League. The net rippled 3.01 times per 90 minutes on average in this year’s competition. Last season, there were just 548 goals scored in the tournament.
108,617 – the total number of spectators that attended Europa League fixtures in 2020/21. Working out at just 530 per game, this year’s tournament was the worst attended in history…..for obvious reasons.
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