Samuel Chukwueze lived up to his name on Wednesday at the Allianz Arena in Munich when he scored in the 88th minute to effectively knock Bayern Munich out of the 2021/22 UEFA Champions League tournament.
Bayern team members are one of the ‘landlords’ of the competition having won the title six times, the last time in 2020, when they beat PSG 1-0 in the final.
Chukwueze started on the bench and was sent on in the 84th minute to replace Francis Coquelin. In the post-match interview when he was asked what Unai Emery told him before entering the pitch, the left-footed forward said, “He just said, just run. When you don’t have the ball just run that’s all what he told me.”
And run Chukwueze did in the 87th minute when Bayern were caught up the pitch while looking for the go-ahead second goal. When Gerard Moreno hit the ball towards Chukwueze in the 88th minute, what was he thinking?
“I just want to hit it so it will just enter. I didn’t want to waste any time; I just wanted to feel the moment, but it just happened.”
Villarreal only ever made it into a Champions League semifinal in 2006, and they now await the winner between Liverpool and Benfica.
How many hours of video did you have to watch to prepare for this match? “Two hours,” Chukwueze answered. “Throughout the week, it was all about the video. I did three hours, two hours, if you calculate it, it’s more.
“We’re going to celebrate, inside the dressing room first, then when we will get to our hometown, we’re going to celebrate more.”
Villarreal have now beaten two European football heavyweights, Juventus and Bayern Munich, in successive rounds, so their next opponent should hold no fears for them.
“It’s not easy to win. It’s not easy to win one of the favourites in the Champions League. Before you win the champions league, you need to beat the best. So let’s beat the best first. We beat one of the best, so we look out for the next one,” Chukwueze added.
Villarreal won the Europa League last season and are currently seventh on the La Liga table, six points behind sixth-placed Real Sociedad. Chukwueze has featured in 27 games across all competitions and has scored six goals.
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