Villarreal’s fairytale in the UEFA Champions League ended with a defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday.
The Unai Emery’s side failed in their bid to reach their first final after a 2-3 second leg (2-5 on aggregate) defeat to Liverpool on Tuesday.
Despite the defeat, the Yellow Submarine can hold their head high as they reached only the second ever Champions League semi-final for the first time since 2006.
They qualified from the Group that has Manchester and Atalanta, and then knock out giants Juventus and Bayern Munch to reach the last four.
Not many teams can boast of beating Juventus 4-1 on aggregate, or outplaying and outscoring Bayern Munich in over two-leg, but Villarreal — a team with a smaller budget than Burnley did it.
Villarreal also scored in all knock-out games, except the first leg semi-final defeat to Liverpool at Anfield last week. But then in a spirited performance in their last four-second leg at home to Liverpool and scored twice in 45 minutes.
Villarreal has played every game in Europe ( both Europa League and Champions League) from last season, but will only miss the final of the Champions League this year.
In 2020/21, Emery’s team cruised to first place in UEFA Europa League Group I ahead of Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Sivasspor, and Qarabağ to reach the round of 32 for the eighth time before comfortably disposing of UEFA Champions League group stage participants Salzburg (2-0 a, 2-1 h) and Dynamo Kyiv (2-0 a, 2-0 h).
They also won both quarter-final matches against Dinamo Zagreb (1-0 a, 2-1 h) and then knocked out Arsenal in the semi-final (2-1 h, 0-0 a) before beating Manchester United 11-10 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in the Gdańsk final.
At that time, Villarreal was undefeated in Europe in 2020/21 with 11 wins and three draws.
However, in the 2021/22 Champions League, Villarreal played 12 games, won 6, lost 4, and drew 2.
With the European adventure over, proud, Villarreal will now turn attention to La Liga action this weekend with a home game against Emery’s former side Sevilla with four matches left this season.