13 Apr 2022 | 07:04 | Football
Fairy “Golden Submarine”
For the second time since the pandemic, the Allianz Arena is fully operational. Along with the 70,000 spectators in the stands, the giant banner of the great Gerd Muller of the host fans seemed to give more impetus to Bayern Munich to find a goal.
In the midst of vibrant cheers, the Villarreal players formed a circle in the middle of the field. They hugged each other, bowed their heads, and in a few seconds the players of coach Unai Emery built a spiritual fortress.
The referee put the ball in play and the first thing Villarreal did was to form a solid block ten meters from their penalty area.
Minutes passed and all the yellow shirt players, except Danjuma, fell in front of the 16m50 line. Basically, they stay that way until the break.
Villarreal’s central defenders did not interfere too much, when all their positions were fighting from afar. Like the first leg, the humble representative of La Liga completely locked down the attacking stars of Bayern Munich.
Villarreal only conceded a goal early in the second half, after a mistake from Dani Parejo and a light but dangerous shot from Robert Lewandowski.
Things were quickly controlled by Unai Emery’s players. Lewandowski was back in control and had a lackluster match, while Bayern Munich’s other positions also failed to make any mark.
Bayern Munich created many attacks, but not enough rushing and choking to be able to end the game.
The result, unexpectedly, took place only 2 minutes before the official closing time. Dani Parejo corrects the mistake with an offensive kick, the ball goes past Lo Celso, reaches Gerard Moreno’s feet and is set up for Chukwueze to hit Manuel Neuer. A really impressive counter-attack.
Villarreal excelled in the semi-finals amid the bowed heads of Bayern Munich, who had already thought of the scenario of extra time.
Where Unai Emery belongs
“They made the mistake of not finishing us off ,” Gerard Moreno happily celebrated.
Last season, Gerard Moreno shone to help Villarreal win a title for the first time in history (Europa League). Now, he continues to play an important role to bring “Golden Submarine” to the Champions League semi-finals.
Villarreal always has heroes that shine at the right time. Above all, the difference is made by Unai Emery.
A few months ago, Unai Emery came very close to a contract with Newcastle, where he was committed to providing maximum support in all aspects to build a new team under the financial sponsorship of the Saudi Arabia Investment Fund.
After a meeting with Villarreal officials, the former Arsenal and PSG captain decided to stay to continue the unfinished path with the “Golden Submarine”.
The performance of the 50-year-old strategist completely captivates the fans at the Estadio de la Ceramica.
Before kicking the quarter-finals of the Champions League, not many people believed that Villarreal would continue. Bayern Munich is too strong, possesses many excellent individuals, and Julian Nagelsmann with a modern attacking mindset is considered a candidate for the championship title.
Bayern Munich is Europe’s most fearsome attack, with 30 goals before the semi-finals. But they only scored 1 goal after 180 minutes against “Golden Submarine”.
Before eliminating Bayern, Villarreal’s victim was Juventus. In particular, Unai Emery’s teachers and students won 3-0 right in Italy.
After years of failed adventures abroad, Unai Emery is right where he belongs, writing proud history for Villarreal – the humble Vila-real town team of just over 51,000 inhabitants.
In the midst of the commercial football era, with the big guys aspiring to launch the Super League, Unai Emery’s Villarreal became an example for clubs with modest finances.