Villarreal players Dani Parejo, Etienne Capoue and Gerard Moreno were critical of Bayern Munich coach Julian Nagelsmann for failing to respect the Spanish outfit in the quarterfinals of the Champions League.
The two sides drew 1-1 in Munich on Tuesday — a result which saw Villarreal progress to the semifinals with a 2-1 win on aggregate.
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Nagelsmann said in last week’s prematch news conference that he expected his team to get the job done in Villarreal ahead of the return leg at the Allianz Arena.
« I think their coach, who I don’t know personally, showed a lack of respect towards Villarreal and towards football by saying that he wanted to kill the tie in the opening leg, » Parejo said of Nagelsmann. « For us, that was a lack of respect and I think in the end, when you spit up at times it comes down and hits you. »
Six-time European champions Bayern were favorites going into the tie but lost 1-0 in Spain, their first away defeat in Europe’s elite competition since 2017.
Nagelsmann said on Monday that while his team had made « many mistakes » in the opening leg, Villarreal had « made the mistake of letting us live » by only taking a 1-0 advantage from the opening leg despite the numerous chances they had to extend their lead.
Capoue said he felt the Bayern coach « lacked humility » while his teammate Moreno said those comments inspired his side ahead of Tuesday’s return leg at the Allianz Arena.
« We played very well at home but they said we made a mistake by not finishing it off, » Moreno said. « Those comments served as motivation.
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« Since we found out that we were facing Bayern, we said to ourselves that it was possible, that we could do it. We knew it would be a very difficult challenge as they are among the best teams in the world, but faith moves mountains . »
Villarreal, who won the Europa League last season, have reached the semifinals of the Champions League for the second time in their history and the first time in 16 years.
« We are going to enjoy the semifinals, » Villarreal coach Unai Emery said after Tuesday’s game. « We are not here to be told how nice we are, that we come from a small town. We are here because we have a solid project. We have to continue to work and remain humble. »