Saturday, December 3, 2022

Man United can get tips from the University team that beat Villareal in an incredible 7 goal thriller ahead of the Europa League final.

Man United can get tips from the University team that beat Villareal in an incredible 7 goal thriller ahead of the Europa League final.

On 16 July 2011, Villarreal took a full first-team team to play against University College Dublin AFC and ended up being on the receiving end of a shock loss.

There were internationals and World Cup champions present, with the likes of Santi Cazorla, Diego Lopez, Marcos Senna, Carlos Marchena, Juan Capdevila, Cani, and Nilmar were all included in the friendly match at UCD bowl almost a decade ago.

The La Liga team was getting ready for a season in the Champions League under manager Juan Carlos Garrido, while the team full of students had just lost 2-0 to Dundalk the night before and weren’t even the original contenders for the La Liga outfit.

They were in the middle of a relegation battle and fielded more or less the same side as what played a day earlier at Oriel Park, but the minnows delivered an unbelievable display in a seven-goal thriller.

Valero, Ruben, and Cazorla were all on the scoresheet for the Yellow Submarine in an interesting encounter that saw a late own goal from Juan Oriol in the 85th minute gave the hosts a famous 4-3 victory.

“When the team sheet came in during the warm-up, I started to think OK, this is an opposition and quality that we would not have faced before,” Paul Corry, who played in the game, told Extra Time as part of an in-depth feature on the match.

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“There were World Cup winners in there; they had been playing in the Champions League in the not-so-distant past.

“They probably underestimated us. That’s the feeling that I got.

“They were probably right to do so because I think when you see college or university in a name, it’s only natural to think it would be a walk in the park.”

Ger Barron was in between the sticks for the hosts and pulled off a series of superb saves in the game. For him, the win prevails a career highlight.

“I remember saying on Twitter that when you reach the pinnacle of your career by defeating Villarreal in a meaningless mid-season friendly – I don’t know whether to be ashamed or delighted with it,” Barron added.

“For a one-off game, the game is a great story to tell, and it’s the fairy-tale of the underdog where anyone could beat anyone.

“I don’t even think our mothers would have given us a hope of beating Villarreal that day, and we did. I look back on it with great fondness.”

Villarreal first half team: Diego Lopez, Marchena, Capdevila Mario, Joselu, Gerard Bardas, Ruben, Cani, Kiko, Valero, Bruno

Villarreal second half team: Cesar, Marino, Iriome, Pepe, Castellani, Marcos Gullon, Marcos Senna, Cazorla, Nilmar, Musacchio, Joan Oriol.

Manchester United might just want to get a few tips from UCD as they prepare to play Villarreal in Wednesday’s Europa League final in Gdansk.

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Man United can get tips from the University team that beat Villareal in an incredible 7 goal thriller ahead of the Europa League final.

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