Croatia champions Dynamo Zagreb, who eliminated Tottenham in the round of 16, will try to surprise again in their first quarter-final match in European competition in more than half a century. They will face Villarreal, an old acquaintance of the competition, who will play in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals for the fourth time.
• Dynamo, the last Croatian representative in Europe, had a magnificent autumn in the UEFA Europa League. They were undefeated in Group K after scoring 14 points and finishing first, ahead of Wolfsberg, Feyenoord and CSKA Moscow. In the round of 32 they got rid of another Russian team, beating Krasnodar (2-3 away, 1-0 at home), before dramatically coming back from 2-0 in the first leg against Tottenham to win the match in home 3-0 after extra time, thanks to a brilliant hat-trick from Mislav Oršić.
• Villarreal took first place in Group I of the UEFA Europa League ahead of Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Sivasspor and Qarabağ to reach the Round of 32 for the eighth time, before comfortably ditching the group stage participants of the UEFA Champions League, Salzburg (0-2 away, 2-1 at home) and Dynamo Kiev (0-2 away, 2-0 at home), in the two knockout rounds, with individual ‘braces ‘in the home games of forward Gerard Moreno.
This is how Dinamo Zagreb beat Villarreal in 2010
• These teams have only met once in UEFA competition: Vahid Halihodžić’s Dynamo beat Juan Carlos Garrido’s Villarreal 2-0 at home on Matchday 1 of the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League, before the team Spanish won the second leg 3-0 to seal their place in the knockout phase, where they would reach the semifinals. Dynamo, meanwhile, was eliminated after finishing third in the group.
• While those matches remain Villarreal’s only official matches against Croatian rivals, Dinamo have played ten UEFA matches against Spanish clubs, losing eight of them, with that 2010 home win against Villarreal the only success. Their last four meetings with La Liga clubs have seen losses in the UEFA Champions League group stage: against Real Madrid in 2011/12 (0-1 at home, 6-2 away) and Sevilla in 2016 / 17 (0-1 at home, 4-0 away).
Dynamo Zagreb – Tottenham 3-0 tp (2 minutes)
Zagreb Dynamo • Last season, Dynamo won their 21st Croatian title (record) and completed a hat-trick in the 1. HNL. They also reached the 2019/20 UEFA Champions League group stage for the seventh time, finishing fourth in their section behind Manchester City, Atalanta and Shakhtar Donetsk with five points, their best result in the competition in 20 years.
• Dynamo started this European campaign under the guidance of their coach Zoran Mamić, beating local CFR Cluj on penalties in the second qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, but then lost 2-1 at Ferencváros. before defeating Flora of Estonia 3-1 at home in the UEFA Europa League play-offs to reach the group stage of this competition for the sixth time. As in 2018/19, they won four and tied two of their six games to lead the group, beating Feyenoord (0-0 home, 0-2 away), CSKA (0-0 away, 3 -1 at home) and also classified Wolfsberg (1-0 at home, 0-3 away).
• This is the second time that Dynamo have made it past the group stage of a continental competition, as the previous time was two years ago, when they beat Viktoria Plzeň in the round of 32, before losing to Benfica in extra time. round of 16. The last time the club reached a European quarter-final was at the 1969/70 Cup Winners’ Cup, when they were beaten by Schalke (1-3 at home, 1-0 away).
• Dynamo are undefeated in their last 14 UEFA Europa League home games, including qualifying matches, winning eleven of them and scoring 29 goals. In European competition, the 1-4 loss to Manchester City in the UEFA Champions League last season is Dynamo’s only loss at home in 17 games (12 wins and four draws).
Golazos of Villarreal in the Europa League
Villarreal • Villarreal finished fifth in the 2019/20 League to return to Europe after a season absent. They took part in the UEFA Europa League group stage for the eighth time, equaling the record.
• The Spanish club, which have reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Europa League twice, have yet to finish outside the top two in their eight seasons in the group stage, and have already been group winners four times. Unai Emery’s team won Group I with many goals this season, scoring 12 goals in their first three games before sealing first place with a 1-0 win at Sivasspor on matchday five.
• Villarreal have won two of their previous three quarter-final ties. The resounding victories against Twente in 2010/11 (5-1 at home and 1-3 away) and against Sparta Prague in 2015/16 (2-1 at home, 2-4 away) were followed for a defeat against Valencia in the 2018/19 edition (1-3 at home, 2-0 away)
• Villarreal are unbeaten in their last ten UEFA Europa League games away from Spain (six wins and four draws), with wins in Turkey against Qarabağ (3-1) and Sivasspor, a 1-1 draw against Maccabi Tel-Aviv and the 0-2 wins in Salzburg and Kiev. Villarreal’s last defeats in this competition were those suffered against Valencia in this same phase two years ago. They have been undefeated in 19 European games against non-Spanish rivals (13 wins and six draws).
Villarreal 2-0 Dynamo Kyiv
• Dynamo striker Mario Gavranović will make his 50th appearance in UEFA club competition if he plays.
• Francis Coquelin, Villarreal’s French midfielder, was a substitute for Arsenal who lost 2-1 to Dynamo in Zagreb on the first matchday of the 2015/16 UEFA Champions League.
• Villarreal’s Raúl Albiol was a substitute and entered the break in Real Madrid’s 6-2 win over Dinamo in the 2011/12 UEFA Champions League.
• Dynamo’s Kévin Théophile-Catherine played alongside Villarreal’s Étienne Capoue for the France Under-21 team in 2010.
• Dynamo’s Robbie Burton was a player in Arsenal’s lower ranks during Emery’s spell at the English club (May 2018 to November 2019).
• Villarreal are the club with the most appearances in the UEFA Europa League, from the group stage to the final. This is their 84th match, ten more than Salzburg, second on the list.
• Villarreal’s 26 goals this season have raised their goalscoring figures in the competition to 144, 17 more than their league rival Sevilla. They also hold the record for the most UEFA Europa League wins (46), four more than Sevilla.
• Emery has led 88 games in the UEFA Europa League, 28 more than any other manager. He led Sevilla to win three titles in a row between the 2013/14 and 2015/16 seasons, and also lost a final to Arsenal in 2018/19.
• Damir Krznar replaced Mamić as Dynamo coach three days before their UEFA Europa League round of 16 second leg win against Tottenham.
• Gerard Moreno scored a hat-trick on Saturday in Villarreal’s 3-0 win over the other UEFA Europa League quarter-finalist La Liga team Granada.
Natasha Kumar has been a reporter on the news desk since 2018. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Times Hub, Natasha Kumar worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my email@example.com 1-800-268-7116