Emery: “It was a great game”
Emery: “It was a great game”

The Villarreal head coach underlined both team’s good performances after the 2-2 draw as the UEFA Champions League returned to the Estadio de la Cerámica

Villarreal CF head coach Unai Emery appeared in front of the press after the draw against Atalanta BC (2-2) at the Estadio de la Cerámica. The Basque manager emphasised that it was a great match as the UEFA Champions League returned to the Yellows’ home stadium, despite the Submarine not getting a win after turning around a 0-1 scoreline.

Match analysis

“It was a great match. We dug in when the result was against us, then we were winning, and then we lost the lead, it was a high-level football match, with a lot of talent on show. It was a draw, which for me I think was not enough for either team, but for those watching, it was a great game.”

“The first 20 minutes were difficult. After it was 0-1, we rebuilt, we generated chances and we drew. At half-time, it looked like it was equal. The goal that made it 2-1 gave us chances to make it 3-1. Coquelin’s sending off gave us a set back, but even then, we had the chance for Gerard. This point says that we need to continue working hard and improving.”

The substitutions

“The idea was to bring on fresh players. Danjuma is in a process of adaptation, but he understands everything quickly and he performed well. Coquelin came on to cover Capoue, who had a yellow card, and he was so motivated, he ended up getting sent off. Moi Gómez and Alberto Moreno also came on and did well.”

The return to the Champions League

“We can’t forget our return to the Champions League ten years later. It was a great day with people wearing yellow everywhere. It makes us bigger and makes us proud. We are going to have to dig in a lot, and we will also have to be strong in the coming games.”

The difficulty of the group

“This group gets complicated with Young Boys beating Manchester United. I wouldn’t rule out a surprise, because I’ve already experienced them in the Champions League and in the Europa League. Teams in Europe have a touch more motivation. Young Boys are group leaders, and Manchester United, who are the favourites, are last. Atalanta and Villarreal are there, fighting for our space. Every game played makes it that little bit harder.”