Spanish clubs are still better against German sides in UCL and Europa League quarter finals this week as Villareal managed to stun Bayern while Barcelona snatched a draw in Frankfurt.
One of the favourites in Champions League this season, Bayern Munich was shockingly beaten 1-0 while travelling to Villareal. A single winning goal was scored early on 8th minute through the Dutch frontman, Arnold Danjuma. The game was tight but Die Roeten failed to break the deadlock. The home side’s defence had been solid plus the good anticipation and positioning of their goalie, Geronimo Rulli throughout the game. They barely had decent chances as they were forced to shoot from long range. Serge Gnabry, Kingsley Coman and Leroy Sane had attempted but they either missed it or well held by Rulli. Meanwhile, The Yellow Submarines could have scored more if Gerard Moreno’s attempts had not hit the goal frame and flew wide. Unai Emery’s men can not get carried away yet as Bayern will definitely strive to make a come back at their home turf next week. Should they be able to progress to the last four, it will be quite an achievement for them as they repeat their wonderful season in 2005/06. At that time, Villareal with Manuel Pellegrini at the helm advanced to semi final for the first time in the club’s history. Unfortunately, Roman Riquelme and Co was knocked out by Arsenal 1-0 in aggregate.
Villareal’s stunning victory hints the rise of Spanish side in Champions League again after the Real Madrid’s glorious three consecutive triumph between 2016 to 2018. Since then, no other La Liga team has reached the final. Los Blancos themselves have also paved their way back to the Big Ear trophy after crushing the reigning Champions, Chelsea 3-1. The French forward, Karim Benzema bagged a hattrick in Stamford Bridge in the midweek.
Villareal vs Bayern 1-0
Goals: Arnaut Danjuma (8)
Villareal: Geronimo Rulli – Pau Torres, Raul Albiol, Juan Foyth (Serge Aurier 81), Pervis Estupinan – Etienne Capoue, Dani Parejo, Giovanni Lo Celso, Frances Coquelin (Alfonso Pedraza 59) – Arnaut Danjuma (Samuel Chukwueze 81), Gerard Moreno
Bayern Munich: Manuel Neuer – Lucas Hernandez, Dayot Upamecano, Alphonse Davies, Benjamin Pavard (Niklas Sule 71) – Jamal Musiala, Joshua Kimmich, Thomas Muller (Leon Goretzka 62 (Marc Roca 93)), Serge Gnabry (Leroy Sane 62), Kingsley Coman – Robert Lewandowski
In Europa League, the favorite Barcelona, which were always able to clinch a win on the road in the previous stages, could only muster a 1-1 draw in the midweek versus Eintracht Frankfurt. Xavi’s side conceded first as Ansgar Knauff’s long range strike found the back of the net. Fortunately, Ferran Torres netted an equaliser at the second half. It was a tie neither side could complain about.
In the other three fixtures, Sporting Braga managed to thump Glasgow Rangers 1-0, whereas RB Leipzig and West Ham United were also held in 1-1 draw while playing host to Atalanta and Olympique Lyon respectively. The second leg are staged next week.