Villarreal’s boss, Unai Emery is the undoubted master of the Europa League.
He won the competition three times on the trot as Sevilla boss between 2014 and 2016 before leading the Gunners themselves to the final in 2019, where they were comprehensively beaten by Chelsea.
This is another triumph for the Spaniard and a sweet one at that, coming at the ground where he was never fully embraced by a crowd fed on a regular diet of success by Wenger and frustrated at the way the Frenchman’s regime was allowed to slide from its early heights.
As in the first leg, in which Villarreal were somewhat unfortunate to concede, Emery won the tactical battle against his successor and compatriot Arteta.
They were disciplined, well-drilled, alive to where the danger might come from and willing to battle when they had to.
They had to face some adversity too, with arguably their most dangerous player, Samuel Chukwueze, departing injured in the first half.
But they adapted and continued to compete with a minimum of fuss, according to BBC Sport report.
A sweet moment for Emery, but also for Villarreal, who were beaten by Arsenal in the Champions League semi-finals in 2006 and quarter-finals three years later, and now, finally, have their revenge.
Emery speaking to BT Sport: “Good evening. Yes, I’m very proud because we know it is very important for us and Arsenal are a very good team. I think we deserved it.
“We worked very well, defended very well, and sometimes with the possession we controlled the match and had some options in attack to score goals. They had the best chances to score.
“Today we are thinking to enjoy this moment and then we prepare the match against Manchester United. We deserve to play this final and we will show our best performance and show we want to fight against Manchester for this title.”