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Champions League – Resurrection in Villarreal and future national: Emery, full-time professor emeritus

There are evenings that are less easy to live with than others. Last week in Liverpool, Villarreal suffered the law of the Reds in their Anfield Road garden after a one-way Champions League semi-final first leg (2-0). Face tense and logically disappointed at the microphone of Movistar +, Unai Emery showed accuracy in the analysis of the match. “They’re a team so powerful they’re hard to containrecognized the coach of the yellow submarine. In the semi-finals, the surprise factor of quarters and eighths was diluted. This time we played the first leg away for the first time. They didn’t let us take control of the game, they didn’t let us run. Tonight, it was about resisting defensively to keep hope alive and in a way, we did that. With us it will be different. We will show another face. ” Chick?

Villarreal, from magnificent loser to cold-blooded winner

As crazy as it may seem at the sight of the first leg, Emery believes in Villarreal coming back in front of their home crowd to qualify for the final. For that, it will probably be necessary to silence the third best attack in the competition with 27 goals, behind Manchester City (28) and Bayern Munich (31). Liverpool are also the second most productive team in shots in the competition (133), just behind Bayern Munich (141). But above all, Liverpool is the team to have had the most duels for possession of the ball since the start of the competition (1,146 against 1,012 for … Villarreal, fourth in the standings). All these figures, Emery probably already knows them. And yet, the Basque believes in the impossible. But come to think of it, would this be the very first time that the native of Hondarribia would surprise the world at Villarreal? Not really, no.

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Unai Emery

Credit: Getty Images

When Emery arrives at Villarreal in the summer of 2020, the club is looking for new life to dust off the past of a team that arrived in the last four of the 2005-2006 C1 thanks to its magician Juan Roman Riquelme. That said, the Argentinian playmaker also put on a less glowing costume: that of the author of the missed penalty condemning the Amarillos to elimination against Arsenal (0-1, 0-0). Fifteen years later, it is precisely against the Gunners that Emery will exorcise the demons of the past by qualifying his team for the final of the Europa League 2020-2021 (2-1, 0-0), before winning the C3 against Manchester United (1-1, 11-10 on penalties). “Two years before, Villarreal had never played in a final in their entire historyanalyzes Javier Irureta, former coach of Emery during his past as a player at Real Sociedad. Now the club has a Europa League and participation in the European Super Cup. It’s just amazing.”

The big club: a matter of timing

From now on, the Groguets see in their trainer a formidable leader of men coupled with a professor specialized in the psychological preparation of the meetings. “Before last season, Emery was considered a great coach in Spain but with a glass ceilingdescribes Bruno Alemany, journalist for Cadena SER. The title in the Europa League made it change dimension. His way of playing by bringing the ball out from the back opens the doors to more prestigious clubs than Valencia, Sevilla or Villarreal. ” Little considered abroad since his mixed experiences at Paris Saint-Germain and Arsenal, Emery could see his popularity skyrocket if he signs with one of the leaders of the Spanish championship. But in practice, it gets complicated.

I don’t think there will be any changes on the benches of Real Madrid, FC Barcelona or Atlético de Madrid this summerslice Alemany. Ancelotti has earned the right to continue his tenure at Real given the La Liga title acquired and his current good momentum in the Champions League. Xavi’s project needs time and he’s a legend for all of Barcelona. For Simeone, he is also considered an Atlético legend.”

90 minutes to change the face of your season

That said, Villarreal’s current seventh place in La Liga would force Emery to win the Champions League to offer a European future for his employer next season. So how do you get past the Liverpool hurdle? Before making European magic speak, Emery will above all have to demonstrate a strong science of the game and perhaps bring out the ingredients of his 2015-2016 Europa League final won with Sevilla FC against… Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool (3- 1), after trailing 1-0 at the break.

Unai Emery

Credit: Getty Images

90 minutes is both short and long. During a quarter-final second leg of the 2003-2004 Champions League, Javier Irureta had come back three goals clear of AC Milan from Carlo Ancelotti at the end of a night engraved in the memory of all the supporters of Deportivo La Corunna (1-4, 4-0). This Tuesday, Emery will have “only” two more goals to score compared to the Reds to afford an extension.

Emery is set to be Spain manager

From the start of the match, we were convinced that we could overthrow Milanexplains Irureta. The objective was not necessarily to score the three goals in the first period even if we had achieved it. For Villarreal, it will take patience and rely on the atmosphere created by the public. The main thing is never to let go of the pressure on the opponent and start to sow doubt in his mind. To lead 1-0 at half-time would already be a good thing. By conceding the first goal of the match, Liverpool can be concerned at the idea of ​​​​seeing the second. The two things to keep in mind in this type of match is trust and faith. »

Imagining a city of 50,000 inhabitants qualifying for the final at the Stade de France and winning the biggest of European competitions would be a fabulous story. Beyond the geographical feat, it could also propel Emery into the same category as a certain José Mourinho, winner of the Europa League with FC Porto in 2002-2003 and winner of the Champions League with the same FC Porto. the following season. A wise connoisseur of Spanish football, could Emery outright sparkle on a potential coaching position if he decides to leave Villarreal after a historic season? “Emery is groomed to be Spain managersays Alemany. Lately, he has shown that his attacking game has progressed well, his teams are no longer only dangerous vertically. He manages to find alternative solutions to hurt the opponentThis is good: we will have to change plans to find how to hurt Liverpool.

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04/30/2022 At 1:23 PM

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