Bayern Munich vs Villarreal: Talking points from the biggest upset of the Champions League season

Let us look at the talking points from Villarreal’s stunning draw at Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinal second leg:

Villarreal players in a file photo; Credit: Twitter/@VillarrealCFen
By Karthik Raman | Apr 13, 2022 | 4 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

It was not long ago when the Champions League quarterfinal and semifinal draw was made. Bayern Munich and Liverpool were thought to have gotten the easiest last-eight draws possible. The opponents – Villarreal and Benfica – were not given much chance for an upset win. So much so that fans and experts have already begun debating who will win a possible semifinal match between Bayern Munich and Liverpool. Little did they know that the less-fancied Spanish club had other ideas. First, Villarreal shocked the German giants 1-0 in the reverse leg – in a match which they should have won by a bigger margin. Fast forward to Tuesday night and the Spaniards earned a last-gasp 1-1 draw at Allianz Arena to cause the biggest upset of the current season.

Let us look at the talking points from Villarreal’s stunning draw at Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarterfinal second leg:

Villarreal’s giant-killing act continues

The club from northeastern Spain had a difficult task to even qualify out of their group. They were placed alongside Manchester United, Atlanta and Young Boys. While they lost to United twice, the Spaniards somehow found their way to sneak into the knockout stages of the competition. Juventus awaited them in the last-16 contest. The Italians were the overwhelming favourites, and they started like one in the first leg, scoring an early goal in Spain. But Unai Emery’s side regrouped from the early setback to level the scores. 

In the second leg, the Italians were expected to finish the formality at home, but Villarreal produced a stunning 3-0 win in Turin to book their place in the last eight stage. Next up was Bayern. The German giants won the competition in 2020 and have been one of the favourites for the Champions League title for over a decade. However, Villarreal produced a scintillating performance to win the first leg 1-0. The Germans were lucky to escape with a narrow defeat. But they were not able to produce a win in the second leg, as Emery’s side earned a late draw to book their semifinal passage.

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Unai Emery is a master tactician

The 50-year-old Spanish manager has yet again guided his team on a storybook run. What he has achieved over the last two years with the Yellow Submarine has been incredible. They began with an unlikely run in last season’s Europa League that saw Villarreal pull off multiple surprises, which included giant-killing acts against Arsenal in the semifinals and Manchester United in the final. The club from northeastern Spain had never won a major trophy until they lifted the Europa League crown.

That victory earned Villarreal a place in this season’s Champions League. Overcoming a difficult group, the Spaniards pulled off major upsets against Juventus and Bayern Munich in successive rounds. In both ties, Emery’s tactical ability was on display as they nullified their opponents in an impressive fashion. Emery has so far won four Europa League titles (three with Sevilla and one with Villarreal). In order to add a Champions League winners medal, his side has to survive a daunting task possibly against Liverpool in the last four. With their current form, it’s hard to bet against Villarreal.

READ MORE – Unai Emery’s defensive masterclass knocks German giants out of Champions League

What next for Bayern Munich?

What promised to be a season of great potential is fast turning out to be a nightmare for Bayern Munich. After beginning a new chapter under Julian Nagelsmann, Bayern were expected to maintain the dominance that was present under the previous manager Hansi Flick. However, the results have not turned out the way as expected. In the German Cup, Bayern were thrashed 5-0 by Borussia Monchengladbach, as they departed the tournament in the second round for the second season in a row.

Not much fuss was made out of it, as Bayern’s priority has been the Champions League in recent years. They had few blips along the way but still looked mesmerizing in the competition. However, the 2-1 aggregate defeat against Villarreal in the quarterfinals has now brought their campaign to a standstill. They still have Bundesliga to play for, but Bayern already enjoy a 9-point lead over Borussia Dortmund with only five games remaining. The league title might not be enough for Nagelsmann to convince his critics, but for now, it is all Bayern have left to play in the final weeks of the season.

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