However, what followed was simply remarkable. The likes of Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Muller were simply out of ideas as Villarreal schooled Bayern tactically, and the 1-0 final scoreline should have been even more damning for the German visitors.
Villarreal took the lead in the eighth minute after a strong start. A counter attack meant that Giovani Lo Celso’s shot found its way into the path of Arnaut Danjuma, who tapped in to send the Estadio de la Ceramica into raptures.
Villarreal looked comfortable throughout despite the size of the occasion and their lack of experience at this level, and Juan Foyth, in particular, was impressive, handling the sheer pace of Serge Gnabry and Alphonso Davies with ease.
The Yellow Submarine thought they had a second when Francis Coquelin’s cross beat Manuel Neuer, but a VAR check showed the Frenchman was marginally offside in the build-up.
The second half continued in the same manner, and after Neuer gave the ball away in midfield, Gerard Moreno aimed a shot at goal from the halfway line which went narrowly wide.
Gerard then hit the post with a fierce strike from outside the box, and many were left wondering how Villarreal weren’t 3 goals up.
Bayern improved following the introduction of Leroy Sane, but Villarreal found even more attacking threat after Pedraza replaced Coquelin.
Pedraza got himself into good positions, but he couldn’t produce a finish, and spurned a number of opportunities. Villarreal were rampant on the counter, with Lo Celso and Danjuma causing nightmares for the Bayern defence.
Both Albiol and Pau Torres made crucial blocks to deny Bayern space, and the side who had scored in each of their last 30 games left empty handed as Villarreal recorded a famous victory.
No matter what happens in the second leg, this performance and result, in a magical atmosphere in Vila-real, will live long in the memory.
There were endless contenders for man of the match, but Juan Foyth edges it. Davies had no answer to his fierce tackling, and he performed well in distribution.
Up next, Athletic Bilbao at home. After such an exhilarating game, there will likely be rotations aplenty ahead of the second leg in Bavaria next week.