What Manchester United’s Europa League final defeat means for Chelsea in Champions League draw

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Manchester United squandered the opportunity to lay their hands on their first trophy under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last night, losing the UEFA Europa League final to Villarreal on penalties.

After falling behind to Gerard Moreno’s 30th goal of the campaign in the first half, United drew themselves level just ten minutes into the second 45 through Edinson Cavani.

After the Uruguayan had brought United back level, all the pointers suggested that the Old Trafford club would kick on and get the job done. However, Villarreal, lead by former Arsenal chief Unai Emery, made life awkward for them, forcing the contest all the way to a penalty shoot-out before coming out on top, winning 11-10 on spot-kicks.

It was a remarkable shoot-out and one that was only brought to an end when Villarreal shot-stopper Geronimo Rulli thwarted David de Gea with the final penalty.

Had United not finished inside the Premier League’s top four this season the defeat to Villarreal could have felt all the more painful, as it would have seen them miss out on a place in next season’s UEFA Champions League. Fortunately for them, however, they did finish a respectable second in the top flight.

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Despite that, though, United have missed the chance to put themselves in Pot 1 for when the draw for the group stages is made in August. That means that Villarreal will now join the top seeds in Pot 1, who are Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan Manchester City, Lille and Sporting Lisbon.

United will have to settle for a place in Pot 2 alongside arch-rivals Liverpool, Spanish trio Barcelona, Real Madrid and Sevilla, Italian outfit Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain of France.

But there is still one place in Pot 2 to be decided, with this weekend’s Champions League final between Manchester City and Chelsea having a huge say.

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If City win, Chelsea will join Liverpool and Manchester United in Pot 2, meaning German giants Borussia Dortmund could be forced into Pot 3, and potentially face Thomas Tuchel’s side in the group stages. Russian outfit Zenit St Petersburg would jump into Pot 1.

But if the Blues come out on top in Portugal and return to England with the trophy as part of their hand luggage, they will jump into Pot 1 alongside City, meaning Dortmund would become the eighth and final team in Pot 2, once again meaning Tuchel could face his former club.

As well as a win on Saturday evening lifting Chelsea into Pot 1, it would also see them contest the UEFA Super Cup final in August against Villarreal.

At this moment in time, the contest is scheduled to take place in Northern Ireland, but a potential switch to Turkey is reportedly possible.

Source by Football London

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