The Villarreal CF manager, Marcelino García Toral, qualified his team for the Quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League tonight after knocking out Bayer 04 Leverkusen. The manager of the Submarine believes the game got better and better for the Yellows in the BayArena (0-0): “In the first half they dominated and we found it difficult to play. We avoided taking risks too much. But in the second half we did much better, we controlled them and caused them many problems with some clear chances”.
According to Marcelino, the competitiveness showed by his team is well worthy of praise: “I’m very satisfied and proud of the work my players put in. We’ve played many consecutive matches now and sometimes the legs can go. Our level of competitiveness makes me proud. I don’t think we got through comfortably. We beat a great team because defensively we were solid and in attack we created what we needed to. The success is all down to the players”.
With regard to the return of Sergio Asenjo to the goal after 11 months on the side lines with a right knee injury, Marcelino only had praise for the goalkeeper: “I didn’t have any doubt about who to put in goal. Sergio is a solid keeper, with a lot of experience and he’s been training very well. He hadn’t played before because Alphonse was playing very well, but he’s been ready to play”.
Marcelino would prefer to avoid drawing the other Spanish teams in this Friday’s draw. “The two favourites are Borussia Dortmund and the defending champions Sevilla. And all the other teams are great as well. I wouldn't like to draw a Spanish team. Until now we've been called the favourites to win and we’ll keep going”.