Champions League: Villarreal takes advantage against Bayern Munich

The game: 1-0

On the scale of Villarreal’s history, that’s quite a feat. At the end of a very successful match, the Spanish, perfectly organized and led by an exceptional Giovani Lo Celso, beat Bayern Munich (1-0) and showed that their qualification in the previous round against Juventus Turin (1-1, 3-0) He didn’t owe much to chance. With a little more efficiency, especially at the end of the game, the Spanish should have taken an even greater advantage heading into the second leg.

Unai Emery’s game plan with a very compact 4-4-2, led by the delicious Giovani Lo Celso, worked perfectly and put off the intentions of his counterpart Julian Nagelsmann. Very disciplined around an effective Capoue-Coquelin duo, the Spanish limited Bavarian creativity. Neither Kingsley Coman, placed on the right side, and less Serge Gnabry on the left, managed to unbalance Villarreal’s blocking. Without creativity, weighed down by unusual technical errors, Bayern Munich, except for a volley from Kimmich (23rd), never managed to create situations in the first half.

Unai Emery’s men opened the scoring with an early goal from Danjuma (8th) after a very well-constructed collective action. They could even have finished this first term with a more substantial lead. Francis Coquelin’s goal, in a very lucky center, was annulled for initial offside (41st). Étienne Capoue, dominant in midfield, saw his shot miss (45º +1). When it resumed, the balance of power did not change. And it was Villarreal who should have been offered a more substantial advantage after a splendid shot from Moreno that ended his career in the post (53rd) and then in a transition saved in extremis by Davies against Moreno (57th).

Five minutes later, after a bad sending-off by Manuel Neuer, Moreno was still very close to freeing the Ceramics stadium. Bayern Munich, despite the changes (in particular, the entry of Sané), had a hard time being precise. Coman, in the legs, could not find the opening. Rulli deflected a shot from Davies (66th). Villarreal will probably blame themselves for not having reconverted all their situations. Danjuma, only against Neuer (66th) and Pedraza (87th) missed the opportunity. In the second leg, Bayern Munich will have to show a completely different face to qualify.

The player: Lo Celso, an evening delight

This winter, he could have joined OL. Instead, the Argentine midfielder (25), on loan from Tottenham, illuminated these quarter-finals against Bayern Munich with his immense talent. The southpaw is a lovely player. And this Wednesday afternoon, he was fundamental because of his volume of runs and his creativity. Originally because of his outside of the starter’s foot, the former Parisian was then a constant resource in ball exits. And a poison in transitions.

This outside opening from the left for the Dutchman Danjuma would have deserved to be a decisive pass (68th). Like this return of the ball and this service for Pedraza (87). Beyond his constant offensive contribution, Lo Celso will have been very valuable in the covers and raises of Alphonso Davies. A complete game. Something to give some regrets to Parisian fans…

The data: when Moreno does not take advantage of Neuer’s blunder…

In his nightmares, Gérard Moreno will undoubtedly remember this action in the 62nd minute for a long time. A sequence that could have changed the course of this quarter-final first leg. The Spanish international should have taken advantage of Manuel Neuer’s incredible blunder to make matters worse. In a trivial ball, the Bavarian goalkeeper completely failed his clearance that fell on Moreno. But the Balearic’s immediate shot went to the left of the frame… Huge wasted opportunity…

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