Villarreal face Arsenal at La Ceramica this evening in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final. The hosts are seventh in La Liga, having lost three of their last five domestic fixtures. The visitors are tenth in the Premier League, having won one of their last five. Unai Emery, a specialist in the Europa League with three titles under his belt from his time with Sevilla, named a 4-3-3 starting lineup to face his former club.
Geronimo Rulli starts in goal, behind a back four of Juan Foyth, captain Raul Albiol, Pau Torres and Alfonso Pedraza. Etienne Capoue anchors the midfield, with Dani Parejo and Manu Trigueros either side. Gerard Moreno leads the line, flanked by Samuel Chukwueze and Paco Alcacer.
Villarreal took the lead inside the fifth minute, with Trigueros firing home. Albiol doubled their advantage just shy of the half-hour mark, giving Mikel Arteta’s men a veritable mountain to climb, only for things to go from bad to worse for the Englishmen when on-loan Real Madrid man Dani Ceballos saw red in the 57th minute.
The Londoners got a goal back soon after, however, when Nicolas Pepe converted from the spot to make it 2-1, and Villarreal were themselves reduced to ten men when Etienne Capoue saw red in the 80th minute.