real surprise Bayern Munich removed from Liverpool's Champions League path after shock exit
Samuel Chukwueze snatched a dramatic 88th-minute equaliser to send Villarreal through to the UEFA Champions League semi-finals at the expense of Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena - making Liverpool clear favourites to reach the final.
Four minutes after coming on as a substitute, Chukwueze swept home a cross by Gerard Moreno to cancel out Robert Lewandowski’s 52nd-minute opener and send the LaLiga side through by virtue of a 2-1 aggregate scoreline.
Villarreal had withstood mounting Bayern pressure in the second half, with Lucas Hernandez and Thomas Muller among those who had a chance to win it before the visitors sealed the deal with extra-time looming.
The hosts had looked listless for much of the first period and it took until just before the half-hour mark for them to muster a shot on target when Jamal Musiala headed straight at Villarreal keeper Geronimo Rulli.
Villarreal were coping comfortably with Bayern’s one-dimensional approaches and looked increasingly confident of clinging onto the hard-fought single-goal advantage they had forged in the first leg.
Lewandowski’s frustrations got the better of him when he was booked for a foul on Raul Albiol in the 33rd minute, then Arnaut Danjuma and Moreno both came close for the visitors.
But it was a different story after the break as Bayern finally got into gear, and Dayot Upamecano should have scored from a clever cut-back by the busy Leroy Sane in the 51st minute.
Lewandowski ended a strong spell of pressure by poking Bayern in front on the night moments later, sparking a spell of pressure that saw Hernandez shoot straight at Rulli, and Muller miss a glorious chance with a close-range header from another Sane cross.
In the midst of the chances, Moreno had served a warning by flashing the ball across the face of the Bayern box on a swift counter-attack, and that danger became a reality four minutes after Chukwueze’s introduction.
The Nigerian kept his cool to fire another Moreno cross past Manuel Neuer and the ‘Yellow Submarine’ saw out the dying moments to secure a famous aggregate win and a place in the last four.
"The first leg was key – that's where we lost the tie," said Bayern Munich boss, Julian Nagelsmann.
"We didn't play well then; today we were very good. Tactically and intensity-wise, it was one of our best games in recent months."
Bayern were in line to take on Liverpool in a blockbuster Champions League semi-final, with bookies Paddy Power installing Liverpool as 6/5 favourites to win the competition after the shock exit for the German champions.
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