It wasn’t a hit and hope counter attack. Parejo controlled the ball, slid it up to Lo Celso, who took in his options as he drew the defense and released Gerard into space. Gerard let the ball travel on its own until the exact moment he wanted to send it to Samu who took it one time at his considerable top pace to hammer it over the head of Manuel Neuer. All the players involved were doing some of the things they do best to create the goal that sent us back to the Champions League semi-final.
To those who are relatively new to Villarreal, as incredible as this season is, we have been in this stage of the Champions League before, but at times since that fateful day in 2006 it looked like we would never make it back as the continent’s elite got richer and richer and we stumbled into a relegation along the way.
Unai Emery has changed the mentality of this club. He’s done it with the help of tremendous leaders like Dani Parejo, Raul Albiol, and our talisman Gerard Moreno, but he has instilled in this club a belief that they have not had in a very, very long time that no matter who the opponent is on the other side of the pitch we can find the result we need.
As Robert Lewandowski brought Bayern Munich level in the second half, in the Allianz Arena no less, we were staring down the prospect of extra time against one of the world’s most talented teams in their own stadium. Emery and his men never wavered. They stuck to their game plan and waited for their chance and at the right moment they took their place in the semi-finals by right. Our most likely opponent in the next round is Liverpool, and once again we will not be favored, but inside that dressing room will be a group of men who have done the impossible before and that makes them mighty. Endavant Villarreal.