Champions League 2011/12

Villarreal stumped by ‘Group of death’

Villarreal had to get through the Qualifying play-offs of the UEFA Champions League to put themselves among the best teams in Europe once again. The Submarine, who finished fourth in the 2010/11 season, came up against the Danish side Odense in the play-offs and beat them with ease. After a 1-0 loss on Danish soil, the Submarine made a tremendous comeback at El Madrigal that finished in a 3-0 victory, with goals courtesy of Rossi (2) and Carlos Marchena.

Once Villarreal had made it to the Group stages of the most prestigious club competition, luck was just not on their side. Not in vain, the draw landed them in the so called ‘Group of death’ along with Manchester City, Napoli and Bayern Munich. The Yellows played well in all their matches at the highest level, but ended up with no points after their six matches in Group A.

The first match in the Group stages was against Bayern Munich at El Madrigal and the result went 0-2 in favour of the German champions, who would go on to get to the Grand Final of the competition and lose to Chelsea on penalties.

The Submarine’s second match in this edition of the UEFA Champions League was away to Napoli (2-0) and the third was also far away from home at the ground of English side Manchester City. It was an encounter that was decided in the last chance of the game with a goal from Agüero, but Villarreal deserved to get a lot more out of the match as they even went ahead on the score board with a goal from Cani (2-1).

And it was even more difficult in the second leg of games in Group A. Manchester City won at El Madrigal (0-3), Bayern beat the Yellows at the Allianz Arena (3-1 with a goal from De Guzmán) and the Submarine finished the tournament with another defeat, this time against Napoli (0-2).