Arnaut Danjuma’s early goal secured Villarreal a deserved 1-0 win against Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final. The former Bournemouth winger Danjuma gave the Spaniards a slender advantage going into the return leg by scoring the only goal early in the first half at Estadio de la Cerámica.
But it could have been worse for Bayern, who produced a disappointing display, as Villarreal had another effort ruled out for offside before they struck a post through Gerard Moreno.
The home side, backed by a vociferous crowd, made an excellent start and took an eighth-minute lead through Danjuma. The on-loan Tottenham midfielder Giovani Lo Celso cut the ball back into the area before Danjuma diverted Daniel Parejo’s shot into the bottom corner.
The Spain defender Raúl Albiol’s well-timed challenge on the edge of the box denied Serge Gnabry a scoring chance as Bayern looked to get a foothold in the game.
But the German champions were relieved to see Pau Torres fail to connect with a flick-on from Parejo’s free-kick as Villarreal threatened again.
And the stadium erupted just before the break when the Spanish side thought they had taken a deserved two-goal lead. Francis Coquelin’s attempted cross flew into the net, but referee Anthony Taylor was told the French midfielder had been offside after a VAR check and Bayern breathed again.
The visitors, who had failed to register a shot on target, had it all to do at half-time. Thomas Müller was inches away from diverting in a cross for an equaliser early in the second period, but there was no respite for Bayern, who were spared by the woodwork when Moreno’s shot hit a post in the 53rd minute.
Bayern sent on Leroy Sané and Leon Goretzka for Gnabry and Müller and in the 66th minute Alphonso Davies fired straight at the Villarreal goalkeeper Gerónimo Rulli. It was Bayern’s first effort on target.
The Bundesliga side pressed in the final 15 minutes, but still found chances hard to come by and Alfonso Pedraza fired a golden chance wide for Villarreal in the 87th minute.
Bayern Munich reacts to hapless Champions League defeat to Villarreal
Bayern Munich was unequivocally dismantled by Villarreal in a 1-0 Champions League defeat where nothing went right and even the team felt lucky to have walked away with only a one goal deficit on aggregate.
“We didn’t play well today in all areas. The fact that it’s only 0-1 gives us confidence for the second leg. We will show a different face next week,” Bayern Munich manager Julian Nagelsmann told UEFA.com.
For Thomas Müller, the focus immediately shifted to trying to figure out a way to win the next match.
“We have a home game next week, we’re down 0-1. It’s halfway through the tie. We’re going to pull ourselves together now and make sure we win the Bundesliga game at the weekend and then it’s Tuesday. We know what we have to do,” Müller remarked.
For Joshua Kimmich, it was frustrating that his squad could not do much of anything positive on the night.
“I don’t think we played against an overpowering opponent today, but we still made them strong. We knew they had their qualities and they brought them onto the pitch — we couldn’t show our quality at all,” said Kimmich. “The only good thing is that we have one game left and we know that. I am sure that we will show a different face in Munich.”