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Villarreal beat Man Utd and finally get what they deserve


How terrible football is for the nerves! How badly we suffer... but when it goes right, my word is it worth it! Yesterday was one of those days. Everyone in here in Spain were right behind Villarreal, the David against the goliath of Manchester United. The "team from 'Pau's town'" (in reference to local-born Pau Torres) as Unai Emery put it so well ahead of the match to fire his players up. The team from Pau's town against mighty Man Utd, the Utd of Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Rashford, Cavani... The patient, conscientious product of a group of football lovers who in a small corner of this country have created an alternative model, an elegant team, who have deserved something like this for a long time now.

Might of Man Utd not enough

Because this trophy is just that, recognition. And it comes at a good time. Without seeking to stir up controversy, it's worth noting that the small-town club (Pau's town, you know by now) have won a European final against one of the teams involved in the Selfish League, which happily never got off the ground. This victory shows exactly why the European Super League would have been unfair, and almost worse, boring, opening up a breach between those who have the most spectators around the world and the rest. The very ideal of football is this: the possibility that a Villarreal can beat a Manchester United. And it's record setting, Villarreal is the smallest town to produce a European-trophy winning team.

Stress of the penalty shoot-out

It was a brutal on the nerves, true. 120 minutes and a torturous penalty shoot out. Normally three out of every four penalties goes in. Yesterday, they scored 21 in a row, unit, all the outfield players having scored, Rulli beat De Gea and then stopped the United keeper's effort. A photo finish that was so stressful and went on for so long that the eventual delight was even greater. In a year when people were beginning to worry about the comparative level of LaLiga, Villarreal have killed off the pessimism by lifting a European trophy. In September we'll see them in the Champions League. Well played!!!