In the Zone: Villarreal’s defensive ‘masterclass’ against Bayern | UEFA champions league

Villarreal certified for his or her second UEFA Champions League semi-final, 16 years after their first, with a powerful show of self-discipline and group in opposition to Bayern Munich on Tuesday.

For his coach, Unai Emery, it was one other triumph after the spherical of 16 victory in opposition to Juventus and leaves the UEFA Europa League winners one step away from their first Champions League last. In this text offered by Fedex, UEFA’s panel of Technical Observers seems to be at success constructed on sturdy defensive foundations.

This was the match: Bayern – Villarreal 1-1


Bayern 1-1 Villarreal

Bayern 1-1 Villarreal

1-0: Robert Lewandowski (52′)
Lewandowski’s thirteenth and final objective within the Champions League got here after a misdirected cross from Dani Parejo beneath stress, when he was making an attempt to play from behind. Kingsley Coman intercepted the ball and Bayern moved the ball with lightning pace. Leon Goretzka gave a fast cross to Thomas Müller, who set Lewandowski up for a low shot from the sting of the realm that went in simply off a submit.

1-1: Samu Chukwueze (88′)
On Bayern’s objective, Parejo confirmed wonderful imaginative and prescient as he turned away from the stress and handed Giovani Lo Celso, who carried the ball throughout the center of the pitch and arrange Gerard Moreno with a cross to the again of the ball. Bayern heart again Dayot Upamecano. Gerard Moreno detected Chukwueze’s run and despatched a cross that Alphonso Davies couldn’t attain on the far submit, the place the Nigerian, with a left-footed strike, beat Manuel Neuer. It was Villarreal’s solely shot on objective.

Man of the Match: Raúl Albiol (Villarreal)

The Villarreal captain took residence the Man of the Match award for his excellence in central protection for the Spanish crew. UEFA’s panel of Technical Observers stated: “He showed great leadership on the pitch, a true role model. He was very strong in the air and one-on-one. He read the game intelligently.”

tactical methods


Bayern system 3-2-4-1

Bayern system 3-2-4-1

Having gone for a 4-2-3-1 system within the first leg, residence coach Julian Nagelsmann returned to the 3-2-4-1 formation he had deployed within the spherical of 16 win at residence in opposition to Salzburg. This meant a trio of backs made up of Benjamin Pavard (quantity 5), Upamecano (quantity 2) and Lucas Hernández (quantity 21) who maintained a excessive line and constructed the sport with the assist of 1 or each central midfielders, Joshua Kimmich (quantity 6) and Goretzka (quantity 8). Ahead of them had been 5 attacking gamers: Coman (#11) and Leroy Sané (#10) on the wings, with Müller (#25) and Jamal Musiala (#42) working inside behind Lewandowski (#9).

Faced with Villarreal’s deep defensive block, the Bavarian crew seemed for the breadth of Coman and Sané (who contributed seven crosses every), whereas Müller and Musiala labored between the traces and Lewandowski, or an attacking midfielder, tried to tie down the central defenders. The objective was to get behind the Villarreal defence, both by means of an overload of play on the wings, a change of play (for instance, from one of many central defenders to Sané, as seen within the video above ) or a direct cross from the baseline to the ahead line.


Structure of Villarreal 4-4-2

Structure of Villarreal 4-4-2

The guests used the identical 4-4-2 system and the identical beginning eleven as within the first leg, and benefited from a strong base, beginning with a goalkeeper, Gerónimo Rulli (no. 13), who gave off safety, and a protection guided by the skilled captain, Albiol (nº 3). Ahead of them, two midfielders within the heart, Étienne Capoue (no. 6) and Parejo (no. 5), accountable for closing the areas within the central zones. Of that pairing, Capoue centered on his defensive duties, whereas Parejo offered defenders with an outlet for the ball.

Villarreal had two highly effective wingers on the pitch, Lo Celso (#17) and Francis Coquelin (#19) and, up entrance, Gerard Moreno (#7), who labored round Arnaut Danjuma (#15). What caught probably the most consideration was the collective defensive effort, and the second clip of the video reveals how Lo Celso leaned again alongside right-back Juan Foyth (#8) at instances to type a defensive quintet.

Other points

Villarreal confirmed the hallmark of Emery’s work in instilling clearly recognizable ideas in protection and assault, together with a well-oiled offside entice. As you’ll be able to see within the video, the crew stored a deep, tight block when in possession of the ball, and tried to close down the central passing lanes with wonderful motion inside their crew construction. His transition recreation was one other function: each the short transitions to protection and -it stands out within the first sequence-, the short counterattacks by means of vertical or diagonal passes.

In protection, Albiol was important for his management, his studying of the sport and his capacity to anticipate. In truth, together with Benfica’s Jan Vertonghen, he cleared probably the most on this week’s second legs (13). And not simply him: Capoue (ten) and Pau Torres (seven) had been subsequent on the record, whereas no different Champions League crew matched the collective whole of 48 clearances made by Emery’s males.

Man of the Match: Raúl Albiol (Villarreal)

Man of the Match: Raúl Albiol (Villarreal)

According to the UEFA observer, “Emery deserves high praise as he developed a clear game plan and passed it on to his team. Every player stuck to this plan and knew exactly what they had to do and what was expected of them.” the”. This manifested itself in the good positioning that denied space to a Bayern that struggled to create clear chances, especially in the first half. Although he had 24 shots, only four were on target.

For Bayern, Coman put in a standout performance: with his one-on-one ability, he recorded nine throw-ins, the most in the second leg of the quarter-finals (with a success rate of 66.7%) . When Coman stayed on the wing, Sané sometimes dribbled inside into congested areas, although he completed four of his seven crosses, one of which provided Müller with a free header which he deflected in the 71st minute.

After the restart, Bayern stepped up their pressing game, leading to Lewandowski’s goal, which followed Coman’s interception. From then on, the German champions took more risks in search of the winning goal and, with their defenses well advanced, there was room for counter-attacks. Emery tried to capitalize on this by bringing on Chukwueze and Alfonso Pedraza in the 84th minute to bring more speed and power to the counterattack. Chukwueze’s goal was decisive.

Coaches statements

Julian Nagelsmann, Bayern coach: “The key was within the first leg. That’s the place we misplaced the tie. So we did not play nicely; within the second leg we had been excellent. Tactically and when it comes to depth, it was one in all our greatest video games in current months” .

“We had a terrific alternative within the first half with Jamal [Musiala]. In the second, we should always have made it 2-0 with Thomas. [Müller]. It would have been a success. They defended in a really disciplined method, very deep. The one time they had been in a position to get previous us, we did not have our construction.”

Unai Emery and the hammer metaphor

Unai Emery and the hammer metaphor

Unai Emery, Villarreal coach: “It was a perfect game in defense. It’s the only way against teams with this devastating quality in attack.”

“In these competitions, to achieve things you have to leave great teams behind along the way. A draw is always important, but to do something you have to beat the favourites. We took a step forward against Juventus and that reaffirmed our ability and our belief”.

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