Bayern Munich Knocked out of the Champions League by Villarreal.

Bayern Munich Knocked out of the Champions League by Villarreal.

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13 Apr 2022
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VILLARREAL 1-1 BAYERN MUNICH (1-2 on aggregate): Unai Emery’s side stunned Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to a late goal from substitute Samuel Chukwueze.

Villarreal went into the second leg with a 1-0 lead thanks to Arnaut Danjuma’s first-half goal. In that game, Francis Coquelin’s goal was disallowed due to a close call on offside, while full-back Alfonso Pedraza skied a great late chance wide of the target.

The first half in Munich was a bit of a non-event, with the Yellow Submarine completely ignoring the hosts’ attacking threat. Bayern, on the other hand, came out after the break with a new vigor and purpose, and Lewandowski broke the tie in the 49th minute. However, in the 89th minute, a direct counter-attack by the visitors resulted in Gerard Moreno’s threaded through to replacement Chukwueze, whose shot beat Manuel Neuer and ended the tie.

Last season, the Yellow Submarine won the Europa League after shocking Arsenal and then Manchester United in the final rounds of the competition. They finished seventh in La Liga last season and are in the same position this season, but their continental campaign has been much better.

Unai Emery stunned Juventus in the Round of 16 and has now eliminated Bayern Munich, who were widely considered to be among the competition’s favorites. The seemingly small Spanish club delivered yet another European masterclass.

Robert Lewandowski has the best Champions League record of any player. Prior to the Round of 16 first leg draw away to Salzburg, the Poland international had won a competition-record 22 consecutive matches for Bayern. Last week’s defeat in Spain was his first in the competition in 25 appearances.

Bayern chose to play three at the back in the absence of Niklas Sule, with Benjamin Pavard and Lucas Hernandez on either side of Dayot Upamecano. Alphonso Davies, the full-back, was left out of the starting lineup, allowing a more creative player to face Villarreal’s deep block.

Bayern had played four in defense in 31 of their previous 38 games in the Bundesliga and Champions League, with the adjustment to the back three being a departure from Julian Nagelsmann’s usual system. While it wasn’t their customary strategy, it was necessary due to their opponent’s 4-4-2 formation, which included two deep banks of four to lock off any creative opportunities for the hosts.

Bayern could pitch all of Leroy Sane, Thomas Muller, Jamal Musiala, and Kingsley Coman behind Robert Lewandowski, while holding midfielders Joshua Kimmich and Leon Goretzka could also provide an attacking threat – but they were unable to break down Villarreal.

After the first leg in Spain, everyone was talking about Villarreal’s incredible performance, which sent shockwaves throughout Europe. Emery’s team had a fantastic victory, but their margin going into the return leg should have been much larger.

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