10 facts Arsenal fans need to know ahead of Europa League semi against Villarreal

As I have done In the previous rounds of the Europa League, to get us in the mood I thought I would break down ‘who are Villarreal?’


Known as the ‘Yellow Submarine’, the club were founded in 1923. They spent most of that time in the lower divisions, only debuting in La Liga as recently as 1998.


They are yet to win a major honour and only debuted in UFFA competition as recently as 2003 (not counting the intertoto cup)


10- Record against Arsenal


There win over us last week was their first at their 5th attempt.

The two teams played over two legs twice in the Champions League. In 2009 we drew 1-1 in Spain, followed up by a 3-0 win in London.


More famously in 2006 we won 1-0 in the last ever European game at Highbury, a 0-0 draw then put us in our first and only Champions League Final.


9- Lucky Omen


The Gunners have only been in the final 4 of the Champions League twice. In both seasons that happened they knocked out Villarreal. In 2009 we drew 1-1, followed by a 3-0 victory at the Emirates.


One of our most famous European nights came in 2006 at El Madrigal where with seconds left, Raquel had a penalty saved by Jens Lehmann meaning a 0-0 draw put us in our only Champions League Final


8 – record Against the English


This Thursday will be Villarreal’s 17th official match against English opposition.

Last week was only their 5th win. They drew 6 and lost the other .


7 – Record in England

Perhaps crucially the Spaniards have only once won in England in six attempts. Their 2-1 win at Everton in 2005 was also one of only two nights they scored on English soil.


They have lost twice to us (1-0 and 3-0) had a couple of stalemates at Old Trafford, conceded 3 at Anfield and most recently lost 2-1 at the Etihad.


6 – Semi Final Record

Not including the Intertoto Cup this will be Villarreal’s 4th attempt at winning a UEFA semi-Final.

On the other three occasions they twice managed a positive result from the first leg.

In 2004 they held Valencia 0-0 at home but lost away 1-0.

In 2016 they beat Liverpool 1-0 but lost at Anfield 3-0.

So a positive result at the Emirates would be their greatest success in their European history.


5- Who played For Both?

Currently former Gunner Coquelin plays for Villarreal.

Santi Cazorla is considered a cult hero for both.

We equally purchased Gabriel Paulista from the Spanish club.

Pires ended up returning to the Emirates in the yellow kit for a Champions League tie.

We loaned Denis Suarez from Barcelona based on his form at Villarreal.


4- Unai Emery In Europa

It’s well documented our former managers record in the UEFA and Europa League.

He’s targeting an unprecedented 5th appearance in the Final.

This is the third time he has had to knock out a former employer, twice knocking out Valencia when in charge of Arsenal and Sevilla.


3- Arsenal in Semi Finals

Here is a worrying stat ….

This is our 10th semi-final in Europe. We have never over turned a first leg defeat…


2- Arsenal at home to Spanish opposition

Barcelona are the only Spanish side to have won at the Emirates on one occasion.

The only Spanish side to win at Highbury were Deportivo.

So since 1980, we have only lost two home games against Spanish teams

Mallorca, Valencia, Celta Vigo, Real Madrid, Villarreal and Atletico Madrid all failed to win in North London.


1- Arteta’s First Full Season


Mikel Arteta is aiming to lift the Europa League in his first full season as manager.

The last man to do that was Andre Villas-Boas when Porto beat Braga 1-0 in the 2011 Final.

These are the only two managers to do that since the UEFA Cup became a single game format in 1998.


Hopefully, next time I write an article it’s not all doom and gloom


Be kind in the Comments



Tags Europa semi-final Villarreal


  1. It is only impossible until it is done. They’re called the submarine, very slow heavy machinery, talk about riding a donkey.

    1. I’m not feeling positive about this game. I’m a bit nervous 💗

      However, if we make this night counts, Man Utd could bite the dust in the final

  2. If there was no protest when we played against Everton, we might be able to win that game and would’ve come to Spain with higher confidence

    I’m afraid the same stupid fans would protest again tonight. Those idiots don’t seem to care whether Arsenal win or not, as long as Kroenke pays attention

    To all complainers, moaners and social media inciters, please hold your complaints and incitements for several hours. Y’all could always slate anybody at Arsenal after we get kicked out of EL

    1. Why would a protest outside the game cost us ?
      Too many excuses
      We are where we are based on not being good enough

      1. If I could hear the annoying noise during the Everton game, let alone the players. To be more focused and confident, the players need to know that they will be unharmed and are supported by the fans

        1. Players who are used to playing every week in front of 60-000 peeps can’t cope with a couple of thousand having a protest outside ?

          1. It’s been a long time since they played in front of 60,000 people and the aggression from angry fans is different than harmless boos

      2. What’s your excuses for Villa, Leicester, Wolves , Burnley, Man City and Liverpool all winning at Emirates?

    2. Man for man Arsenal has the stronger squad, so if they turn up they should play Villarreal off the park. Unfortunately it is a big “If”.

      1. Let’s see whether Arteta’s tactics are better than Emery’s or not and the players must minimize the mistakes

    3. the problem with u people is that u keep failing to tell the truth because u of your selfish interest. Hardly will Arsenal true legend talk on reality rather supporting the useless owner and the so-called manager even when the are failing the fans.

  3. Dan, a lot of long past facts and perhaps even of interest to some but exactly what is the relevance of these past matches to todays game, if any? I see no relevance at all, TBH!


      1. Fair enough then DAN! Though with your usual articles I always find you have said so much of relevance, that maybe your usual standard has spoiled me , expectations wise!

        I have to plead guilty of being too serious minded for some on here, as USUALLY I find discussing our beloved club to be a serious matter.

        In my own life I am usually very zany and off the wall in my humour and enjoy witty banter but somehow on JA I just take things so very seriously.

        Just ignore my comments though, as I really RATE you as our very best regular writer.

  4. Arsenal fans must keep protesting for the future of the club, we might win tonight and even go on to win the tournament and go to the champions league but i promise you we will always come short win the Kroenke’s in charge.

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