Not many have left “The Yellow Submarine” special chances in a double finish against the German giants, but after Wednesday’s clash in Spain, Villarreal can each convince someone.
The home team started to work fearlessly and had scored after seven minutes. Arnaut Danjuma’s precise corner was followed by Dani Parejo’s powerful but accurate header.
– Villarreal are a hungry team. Even against one of the best teams in the world, and although we are humble, we managed to make a great achievement. And to be honest, the result should have been in our favor, Giovani Lo Celso, who was heavily involved in goal preparation, told UEFA.
– The first word I think of when it comes to this match is “pride”. “We knew we would be punished properly if we gave the ball away cheaply, but we created a lot of chances,” he added.
Bayern have scored in 30 consecutive Champions League games but struggled to respond well to Villarreal’s lead goal on Wednesday. Germany found no rhythm and made a lot of mismatches, and just before the break they almost ended at 0-2.
Francis Coquelin crossed from the left past Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer and went straight into the net, but the goal was ruled out for offside.
The guests looked fired up after the break and created good chances early enough. Thomas Müller came close to scoring another goal for Serge Gnabry, who came from the right, but his header was parried by the visitors’ goalkeeper for a corner.
Villarreal had more in stock and were unlucky not to add to the lead in the following minutes. Gerard Morena first got the ball into the post and then he almost missed with a shot from 50 meters when goalkeeper Neuer came down on the halfway line for a foul.
Misusing another great opportunity
There was high intensity in the finishing, and the game waved loudly back and forth in the second half. Both Villarreal and Bayern had enough chances to score, but inches were lost as the ball was about to be put in the net.
The last ten minutes of the game changed somewhat. Villarreal looked content to hold on to their lead, while Bayern occasionally camped outside the home box in search of an equaliser.
Villarreal had a good chance to score after a counter-attack after three minutes but Alfonso Pedraza’s shot from the left went high over the bar. Thus, the score ended 1-0.
The return match will be played in Munich next week, and Bayern still have to be said as favorites before anything is decided. But with the move, Villarreal could win by a few goals on Wednesday. The winner of the double finish will probably face Liverpool in the semifinals.
The defeat was Bayern Munich’s first in 23 away games in the Champions League.
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