Villarreal Tops Dinamo in Europa League Quarterfinal First Leg in Zagreb

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Goran Stanzl / PIXSELL
Goran Stanzl / PIXSELL

After sensationally knocking out Tottenham in the last 16, Dinamo met Villarreal for the first quarterfinal match of the Europa League at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday. 

However, Dinamo could not count on all of the stars that brought them success in the last round. Coach Damir Krznar announced before the match that Joško Gvardiol and attackers Bruno Petković and Mario Gavranović were injured.


Dinamo: Livaković – Ristovski, Theophile, Lauritsen, Gvardiol – Ademi, Jakić, Ivanušec, Majer, Oršić – Atiemwen

Villarreal: Rulli – Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza – Capoue, Dani Parejo, Trigueros – Gerard Moreno, Chukwueze, Bacca


Villarreal had the first attempt of the match but Livakovic saved nearing the 7th minute. And it didn’t take long for Dinamo to be dangerous, too. A Majer shot was difficult for the Villarreal keeper in the 10th minute, resulting in a corner. Atiemwen shot near post in the next play.

Villarreal had a few uneasy attacks in the 10 minutes that followed, but Livakovic was solid to keep the net clean for the Zagreb club.

An incredible play between Orsic and Atiemwen resulted in an offside goal in the 25th minute. Orsic had a Tottenham-style chance in the 33rrd but hit over the goal. Dinamo was certainly pressing Villarreal’s defense.

Unfortunately, just a few minutes before halftime, the referee awarded Villarreal a penalty after Theophile’s handball in the box. Moreno scored for the Spanish club to lead 0:1 at the half. 

Atiemwen threatened Villarreal’s goal to start the second half, while a Gvardiol attempt 10 minutes late was saved.

Coach Krznar decided to risk Bruno Petkovic who was subbed on for Atiemwen in the 60th minute. Kastrati also replaced Jakic to boost the offense. Petkovic found Ristovski in the 68th minute but his shot was blocked.

Dinamo used its third substitution in the 71st minute – Leovac entered instead of Gvardiol.

In the 82nd minute, Dinamo made a double substitution – Majer and Oršić came out for Franjić and Tolić.

Dinamo was lucky Villarreal didn’t increase their lead in the final minutes of the match as their backline remained solid. The match ended 0:1 for the Spanish side. 

Dinamo will visit Villarreal next Thursday in Spain at the same time. 

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