By Bulldog Drummond
Arsenal have played Villareal – now of course managed by Unai Emery – four times and we remain unbeaten. All four matches were during Mr Wenger’s tenure and within the Champions League.
|19 Apr 2006||Arsenal v Villarreal||W||1-0||Champions League|
|25 Apr 2006||Villarreal v Arsenal||D||0-0||Champions League|
|07 Apr 2009||Villarreal v Arsenal||D||1-1||Champions League|
|15 Apr 2009||Arsenal v Villarreal||W||3-0||Champions League|
This season Villarreal have slipped a little…
And their results of late have been rather mixed…
|11/04/21||League||Villarreal||1 – 2||Osasuna|
|15/04/21||Europa||Villarreal||2 – 1||Dinamo Zagreb|
|18/04/21||League||Levante||1 – 5||Villarreal|
|21/04/21||League||Deportivo Alavés||2 – 1||Villarreal|
|25/04/21||League||Villarreal||1 – 2||Barcelona|
Meanwhile their results in the Europa League opening phase show wins against Qarabag and Sivasspor, along with a win and a draw against Maccabi Tel Aviv. In the round of 32 they beat Red Bull Salzburg twice, and had the same double victory over Dynamo Kiev in the round of 16.
That was repeated once more in the quarter finals with two wins over Dinamo Zagreb, so despite being only seventh in the Spanish League they have remained unbeaten in the Europa.
However leaving aside the Intertoto cup they have never actually been to a final in Europe.
In Spanish League terms they are normally regarded as a team liable to come fourth or fifth and reach maybe the quarter finals of the Copa del Rey. They did have one season in the second division (2012/13) and also dropped to 14th for 2018/19, but last year rebounded to 5th.
In 2016/17 they got to the semi final Europa League, but were knocked out 3–1 on aggregate by Liverpool. Villarreal led the first leg 1–0, but lost at Anfield.
Their star attacker is Gerard Moreno, who has scored 26 goals this season. Also in the team is our old chum Francis Coquelin, the youngster discovered by Arsene Wenger, who I was very sorry to see let go from Arsenal.
In the League as we can see above they are 21 points off the top, which sounds a lot until we remember that we are 31 points off the top of the Premier League – in which case it doesn’t seem so bad.
Indeed a comparison between the two clubs in terms of league games shows that the teams are evenly matched domestically with Villareal just having the edge.
And the matching remains quite close when we also come Villarreal at home with Arsenal away
|6||Villarreal CF home||17||6||7||4||28||19||9||25|
So nothing can be taken for granted.
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