Bright spot in Villarreal
Thu, 07/04/22, 00:50
Davies makes comeback after 110 days out
It was as if he'd never been away. Alphonso Davies sprinted, went forward with verve, broke up attacks in defence with his runs and created danger up front - but in the end he could not prevent defeat. Nevertheless, the moment when he robbed Gerard Moreno of the ball when he was the last man in the 90th minute showed it that Davies is back. That was at least one positive news after the 1-0 first-leg defeat in the Champions League quarter-finals at Villarreal, with Davies back on the pitch after 110 days out. This fact alone should give hope for the second leg on 12 April at the Allianz Arena. This is how the Roadrunner's comeback evening went:
Davies completes full 90 minutes
Head coach Julian Nagelsmann made good on his pre-match press conference announcement to pick Davies: "There is an idea to let him start." Phonzie started and, although he could not prevent the defeat at the Estadio de la Ceramica, he demonstrated his match fitness. The 21-year-old Canadian, who was recently named CONCACAF Player of the Year, worked the left flank as he did before his absence, showing his irrepressible drive. The soon-to-be World Cup player last played for FC Bayern in a competitive match in the Bundesliga on 17 December 2021 against Wolfsburg.
Impressive at the back and going forward
"You could see that he still needs some time to find his rhythm and be his old self again," Nagelsmann said, spotting room for improvement, which is normal after months out. "He is physically in very good shape. The time will come [for him to be back up to full speed]." Both defensively and offensively, the 21-year-old was involved in the most important moments of the hectic game in Spain. Phonzie initiated an attack down the left on 50 minutes - after a stale first-half performance by the visitors - but Thomas Müller narrowly missed Serge Gnabry's flashed effort across goal. Sixteen minutes later, the returnee had his own efforts from a corner kick, but his shots were blocked and then saved by Geronimo Rulli. Then, on 57 minutes, the left-footer blocked the seemingly free Moreno, who would almost certainly have made it 2-0.
Stats confirm Davies's strong performance
A look at the statistics proved that the Canadian was in good nick: no Bayern player shot on goal more often (three), no player on the pitch attempted more take-ons (nine), no player had as many successful take-ons (seven), no player contested more duels (24) or won more (15). In the second leg in Munich, however, Davies and his team will have to show a marked improvement as a team if they are to advance to the semi-finals.
Phonzie after his CONCACAF award and on World Cup qualification: