Manchester United vs. Villarreal: A look at Red Devils’ previous European finals

Manchester United vs. Villarreal

Manchester United face Villarreal in the Europa League final on Wednesday evening seeking their second success in the competition in the past five seasons.

The Red Devils may be more synonymous with the Champions League, but it is UEFA’s secondary competition that will provide them with their only chance of silverware this term.

United have a positive overall record when it comes to competing in European finals, which Sports Mole takes a closer look at below.

EUROPA LEAGUE/UEFA CUP
EUROPEAN CUP/CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
1967-68: 4-1 win vs. Benfica
1998-99: 2-1 win vs. Bayern Munich
2007-08: 1-1 draw vs. Chelsea (6-5 win on pens)
2008-09: 2-0 loss to Barcelona
2010-11: 3-1 loss to Barcelona
2016-17: 2-0 win v Ajax

Manchester United vs. Villarreal: A look at Red Devils’ previous European finals

This is Man United’s 11th season involved in the Europa League or its UEFA Cup predecessor, and they do not have the best of records in the competition dating back to 1976-77.

However, the Red Devils did make it all the way to the final in 2016-17 when Jose Mourinho was in charge.

Goals from Paul Pogba and Henrikh Mkhitaryan earned United a 2-0 win in Stockholm to complete a Europa League and EFL Cup double in Mourinho’s final full season.

That is the last time they reached the final, having been eliminated by Sevilla at the semi-final stage last season in their only involvement since.

United won their first of three European Cups with victory over Benfica in the 1968 final, which saw them become the first English side to triumph in the continental competition.

The Red Devils had to wait more than three decades for their next involvement in a final, and it was worth the wait for those in attendance at Camp Nou in 1999.

A couple of injury-time goals, including a winner from now-boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, earned United a dramatic 2-1 comeback win against Bayern Munich.

United made it three successive European Cup final wins by seeing off domestic rivals Chelsea 6-5 on penalties in Moscow nearly 20 years later after a 1-1 draw in normal time.

That is, of course, a match that will be best remembered for John Terry’s slip when taking the penalty that would have won the trophy for the Blues had he converted.

Celebrations from those famous nights will live long in the memories of United fans, but there was less to cheer about in 2009 and 2011 when losing to Barcelona on both occasions.

Samuel Eto’o and Lionel Messi scored in each half to earn Barca a 2-0 win in the first of the finals in Rome, ending United’s winning streak in the showpiece.

Messi was again on target two seasons on at Wembley, the Catalans this time prevailing 3-1 after Wayne Rooney had earlier cancelled out Pedro’s opener.

CUP WINNERS’ CUP
Manchester United vs. Villarreal: A look at Red Devils’ previous European finals

1990-91: 2-1 win vs. Barcelona

Aside from UEFA Super Cups, United’s only other European final came in 1990-91 when beating an opponent that would become familiar to them in Barcelona.

United had to overcome four opponents before facing Barca in Sweden, where a couple of goals from Mark Hughes earned them a 2-1 victory.

It was a significant triumph for the Red Devils in more ways than one, coming in the season that English teams returned to European competition following a five-year ban.

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