Emery optimistic that Villarreal can surprise Bayern


VILLARREAL made a surprise when eliminating former Champions League champions, Juventus, from the last 16 of the Champions League. That experience has made them ready to face Bundesliga heavyweights Bayern Munich in the quarter-finals. That’s what Villarreal manager Unai Emery said.

Villarreal’s form in La Liga has, of late, deteriorated after losing three of their last four matches, which saw the Yellow Submarine drop to seventh in the table and 12 points adrift of Sevilla, who are in fourth or last place in La Liga qualification. Champions.

However, the lessons learned in the 4-1 aggregate win over Juventus are what Emery wants his players to apply in the match against Bayern.

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“We have to play the perfect game,” Emery said at a press conference on Tuesday (5/4), as his team prepared to host the Champions League quarter-final first leg against Bayern on Thursday (7/4) early morning hrs.

“We’ve gone through the group stage against Manchester United and Atalanta and eliminated Juventus in a very competitive game with results that surpassed our expectations.”

“All those experiences and lessons made us question whether it is really a surprise (that we have reached the quarter-finals). We want everyone to recognize our value and presence here,” he continued.

Emery praised rival manager Julian Nagelsmann’s impact on Bayern, saying the 34-year-old has brought new strength and energy to the Bayern team.

“He’s one of the best coaches in the world,” said the former Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal boss.

“I’m happy to take on this challenge. His team played with dynamic, good touch and he made tactical changes that catch your eye.”

However, Emery believes the home advantage in the first leg will help Villarreal overcome the six-time European champions, who will be looking to extend their eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions in Spain.

“We want to experience special and unique moments in our stadium in front of our fans. Our idea is to play smart in the first 90 minutes at home so that our chances are alive in the second leg,” said Emery.

“When opportunities arise, you have to seize them and take your chances. That’s what we will try to do.” (Ant/OL-1)