Munich, Germany – Allianz Arena speakers shouted “Bitter Sweet Symphony” and “The show must go on” as Bayern Munich’s Champions League final whistle blew in hopes of another season, but they would not have heard it. Sad songs in the small section where Villarreal supporters live.
They were very busy celebrating their team’s 2-1 total victory in the Champions League semi – finals. Again, the significant side of Unai Emery shocked a European power. Following a 1-0 win over Bayern in El Matrix last week, the draw in Germany was a 1-1 draw, with the “yellow submarine” reaching the semi-finals against either Liverpool or Benfica.
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Liverpool, who have a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Lisbon, are almost certain to establish themselves as Villarreal’s opponents in the last four when they return against Portugal at Anfield on Wednesday. Even the most cautious Liverpool supporter will celebrate Villarreal’s progress – with Bayern Munich on two legs, they are still six-time tournament winners and Bundesliga champions. Villarreal They have always been, the team punching over their weight.
They are a city club with a population of just 51,000 – less than half the capacity of Barcelona’s Camp Nou – and did not win the big trophy until last season’s dramatic penalty shoot – out victory over Manchester United in the Europa League final. In Kdansk, Poland. That win brought Villarreal to the final of the Champions League this season. Emery’s team, who beat Italy’s champions in the 16th round of Juventus in Turin, have now beaten Bayern.
“If you want to achieve anything in this tournament, you have to beat the big teams,” Emery said. “We took the first step [in the last 16] With Juventus. We analyzed the game well with Bayern.
According to Bayern manager Julian Knucklesmann, whatever he has achieved domestically this season, he will be considered a failure for his first year as Bayern coach because he agreed because of this decision.
“We’ve been out of the German Cup, in the Champions League. I think it’s not enough for Bayern. “This is considered one of my first three failures.”
But Villarreal is constantly spinning. Within 12 months, the small club, based in a small town in northeastern Spain, had won 11 Champions League titles with Manchester United, Juventus and Bayern Munich – iconic clubs. So Liverpool – if it becomes Jurgen Klopp’s team – should be wary of underestimating Villarreal because they are an exceptionally well-drilled and well-organized side. They are hard working and determined and have the will to disrupt European football royalties.
Arnaud Danzuma’s goal in the first leg – another goal by Francis Cochlear was outscored by VAR – gave Villarreal a slim advantage in the match, and it seemed impossible for Emery’s side to consider Bayern with 30 goals in the match. In the pre-kick-off season, Manchester City were second in the Champions League with 24 goals, the most by a few distance scorers. Bayern created chances and scored, but they did not score in Spain, and Emery’s plan for the match was clear from the start – a packed defense between the back four and midfield. At one point in the first half, each Villarreal player was eighteen yards behind the line, they tried to fool Bayern, and the trick worked.
But to add to the annoyance of the home side, Villarreal took every opportunity to kill the game by wasting time or using too much of any challenge and were forced to injure one of their players. Despite the numerous offensive skills that saw him come out with five pioneers, Bayern failed to beat and Villarreal had excellent chances in the first half – both was wasted by Tanzuma and Gerard Moreno. But when Robert Lewandowski highlighted Bayern and finished Thomas Mல்லller’s pass in the 52nd minute to level the score, it seemed inevitable that the home team would rise to victory using the gaps in the Villarreal defense.
Although Bayern made 24 goal attempts, they managed only four goals. Bayern were insidious and Villarreal was predictable going forward with their defensive tactics. Thomas Mல்லller missed an easy chance in the 71st minute, heading Leroy Chan’s cross from six yards out, but Villarreal never broke it. They never are. They even showed a counter-punch, with catastrophic time, when substitute Samu Chukwueze broke the offside trap to score from Moreno’s pass in the 88th minute.
That was the game for Villarreal, the set and the match and another tactical victory against Emery’s highly rated coach. Emery, who has coached Arsenal for less than two seasons, has proven himself to be the coach of European descent, having won four Europa League – with three Sevilla and Villarreal. Can he add a Champions League this season? The odds are against him, but Villarreal has shown us over and over again that no matter how famous their opponents are, betting against them is a risky business.