It’s Arsenal vs. Villareal Thursday as we kick off the semifinals of 2021 Europa League. Thursday’s matchup is the 1st leg of the semifinals, to be played at Villareal’s Estadio de la Cerámica. Arsenal has fallen below expectations in 2021 English Premier League play, but is in the midst of a strong run in the Europa League. The club took down Slavia Prague in the quarterfinals to advance and may be getting Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang back from illness and Alexandre Lacazette back from injury soon. On the other side, Villareal sits in seventh place in La Liga and is looking to make a push in international play in this tournament. The Spanish League club was victorious over Dinamo Zagreb in the quarterfinals and will once again be looking to leading scorer Gerard Moreno in this one.
Arsenal – Thursday’s Europa League match is not available on TV in the United States. Instead, you’ll have to go to a live stream option in Paramount+ to catch Europa League matches this year. CBS has exclusive rights to Europa League matches this year and is putting all matches exclusively on its paid streaming service, which does offer a seven-day trial.
t’s happening around European soccer on Thursday:
Man United is in the semifinals for the second straight year, having lost to eventual winner Sevilla last season. Indeed, the English club is hoping it is fifth time lucky in major semifinals, having lost at this stage four times in the past year and a half under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — twice in the English League Cup and also in the FA Cup. Solskjaer said Marcus Rashford is available after shrugging off a foot injury. Roma is looking for revenge following a 7-1 rout by United at Old Trafford in the 2006-07 Champions League. That was a game that current United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played in. Giallorossi supporters have seized on recent comments from Solskjaer reportedly saying he “doesn’t know Roma well” and hadn’t seen them play. Roma fans responded by pasting posters of Solskjaer around their city accompanied by a message: “Make it so he remembers us!”
It’s a match between the present and past clubs of Unai Emery, the king of the Europa League after three straight wins as Sevilla coach from 2014-16. Emery is in his first season with Villarreal, having been fired by Arsenal in November 2019 after 18 turbulent months. Even in the tough times at Arsenal, he managed to lead the English club to the Europa League final — a 4-1 loss to Chelsea — so is looking to get to the competition’s title match for the fifth time. Arsenal could welcome back captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who has missed the last four games after contracting malaria during the March international break. Fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette has overcome a hamstring complaint. Villarreal is making its fifth attempt to reach a European final, having failed in all previous occasions, including against Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League and against Liverpool in the 2016 Europa League.