Villarreal Coach Emery Previews UCL Clash Against ‘Top-Level’ Juventus

Villarreal face Juventus in the Champions League Round of 16 first leg clash at El Madrigal on February 22 and Yellow Submarines’ coach Unai Emery has delivered his opinion on the high-profile continental clash.

The former Arsenal manager has won the Europa League on four separate occasions – once last season as Villarreal’s coach and thrice in a row with the competition’s most successful club, Sevilla. However, the Champions League has always been elusive for the Spanish manager.

He has been knocked out of the last 16 on the three instances he has reached that particular stage of the competition – twice with Paris Saint-Germain and once with Valencia a decade ago. Moreover, this is Villarreal’s first appearance in this stage of the tournament in 13 years.

Speaking to the press in his post-match conference after his side’s 2-0 win over Real Betis in La Liga, Emery shed his thoughts on the clash against ‘top-level’ Juventus.

“We like to play and face the difficulties of the various games. They motivate us and when we overcome them we look to the future with optimism. The same goes for Juventus, a top-level team. We have to react as we did today, find lots of resources,” he said. (via Calciomercato)

The only meeting between the duo arrived in a friendly in Turin in 2009, when Robert Pires’ second-half brace helped Villarreal grab a 4-1 victory after a goalless first half. The Bianconeri will face the Europa League title holders for the first time ever in a competitive match – the only last 16 UCL tie in which the clubs have never previously played against each other competitively.