Two Manchester United stars have been nominated for 2020/2021 Europa League Player of the season
As one of the third-place finishers in the Champions League group stage, United entered the UEFA Europa League knockout phase. This was their fifth Europa League campaign, having also entered in the knockout phase in 2011/12 and 2015/16 as well as starting at the group stage during their 2016/17 winning campaign and 2019/20.
Manchester United had a very good season in the UEFA Europa League last season.
It wasn’t as easy as it is said to be, because,they had to face some very good teams on their way to the final before losing to Villarreal.
In the round of 32, United were drawn against Spanish club Real Sociedad. The first leg was played at Juventus Stadium in Turin due to travel restrictions relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Former United winger Adnan Januzaj, playing against the club for the first time since he was sold to Sociedad in July 2017.United went on to win 4-0 with two goals from Bruno Fernandes and one each from Marcus Rashford and Daniel James. In the return leg at Old Trafford, Mikel Oyarzabal’s missed penalty and a goal from Axel Tuanzebe that was disallowed for a foul by Lindelof meant the match finished as a goalless draw.
In the round of 16, United were drawn against Italian club and fellow former UEFA Champions League winner Milan, whom they last met in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League knockout phase. In the first leg, Amad Diallo scored first – his maiden goal for United – only to be equalised by Simon Kjaer in the stoppage time. In the second leg, substitute Paul Pogba scored the only goal as United progressed to the quarter-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win.
In the quarter-finals, United were drawn against another Spanish club in the form of Granada, whom they never played against before. This was the first season in their history that United faced more than one Spanish opposition. United won the first leg 2-0 with goals scored by Rashford and Fernandes, the club’s first ever consecutive European away win against Spanish sides. Rashford became the first Englishman to score eight European competition proper goals in a single season since Bobby Charlton in 1964/65 season. In the return leg, a goal from Edinson Cavani and an own goal from Jesús Vallejo ensured United’s passage to the semi-finals.
In the semi-finals, United met Italian club Roma, whom they last met in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League knockout stage. After scoring first via Fernandes, United fell behind to goals from Lorenzo Pellegrini’s penalty and former Manchester City forward Edin Džeko. In the second half, United scored five without reply; Fernandes scored his second via a penalty, Cavani scored a brace, with Pogba and Greenwood scoring one each to secure a first-leg win of 6-2. This made United the first side to score six goals in a major European competition’s semi-final since Real Madrid won 6-0 against Zürich in 1964. The second leg was a tight one; United scored first through Cavani only to be reversed by Džeko and Bryan Cristante. Cavani scored again, but Nicola Zalewski’s goal, which later would reassigned as Alex Telles’ own goal, sent Roma to their first victory over United since 2007. However, United still went through with an 8-5 aggregate win as manager Solskjaer progressed to his first final as United’s manager, the club’s first European final since the victorious 2017 UEFA Europa League Final.
In the final, they met first-time finalists Villarreal, United’s third Spanish opposition this season. The match ended in a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes. David de Gea became the last kicker in the penalties and the only one who failed to score,as his kick was saved, handing Villarreal their first ever major trophy.
Two Manchester United players performances did not go unnoticed. Bruno Fernandes scored 5 goals with some assists, while Edison Cavani scored 6 goals and made an assist.
They’ve both been nominated for 2020/21 Europa League Player of the season alongside Gerard Moreno