Villarreal inflicted Bayern Munich‘s first away defeat in the Champions League for almost five years as they took a 1-0 advantage from their quarterfinal first leg at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Wednesday.
Arnaut Danjuma scored the only goal of the game after just eight minutes as he turned in a shot from Dani Parejo in front of Manuel Neuer.
The better team for most of the contest, particularly in the first half, Villarreal were left to regret not adding to their advantage ahead of next week’s decisive second leg in Munich.
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“Our team is very hungry and humble,” man-of-the-match Giovani Lo Celso told Movistar Plus. “But we faced one of the best teams in the world and we go out with the sensation that we should have scored several more goals.
“We knew that we needed to shorten the field for them — they are a team that can’t have spaces to work the ball. We played our game, we are a team that always try to be the protagonist and we had a lot of opportunities to win by a bigger margin.”
And even Bayern conceded that the result could have been worse for them.
“We deserved to lose. We weren’t good today,” Bayern coach Julian Nagelsmann told DAZN.
“In the first half, we lacked power in defence and didn’t create chances. The second half was a completely wild game. We gave up control because we were desperate to score, but we could have conceded at least two more.”
Still, Tuesday’s victory for Villarreal is an achievement in itself against a club that had not lost on the road in the Champions League for a record 22 games, dating back to a loss to Paris Saint-Germain in 2017.
Incredibly, the coach of PSG that day was current Villarreal boss Unai Emery. And the Spaniard deserves huge credit for helping to mastermind an upset of the German champions.
Bayern, the runway Bundesliga leaders seeking a seventh Champions League title, had a massive edge in form and European pedigree against the seventh-placed team in Spain playing in Europe’s premier competition for just the fourth time.
But Bayern struggled to cope with Villarreal’s compact shape, counter-attacking and intensity on both sides of the ball.
Villarreal twice came inches away from adding to their lead, first when VAR ruled Francis Coquelin to be just offside before his cross drifted into the back of Neuer’s net and then when Gerard Moreno smashed a 25-yard shot against the bottom of the post in the second half.
But, after seeing off Juventus in the previous round, Villarreal now have another European giant-killing firmly in their sights.
“We know that it will be a completely different game in Germany,” captain Parejo told reporters.
“We had at least five opportunities to score, they didn’t create a single one. That says a lot about what we are capable of. So we will go there and compete with the same passion.”
Information from Reuters was used in this report.