La Liga

Villarreal Beat Porto But Exit Europa League

Porto Campeón 2011Villarreal beat Porto 3-2 in their Europa League semi-final second leg, but they crashed out the competition 7-4 on aggregate as they the first-leg deficit proved too much to recover from.

After losing 5-1 on Portugal in the first leg it was imperative that the Yellow Submarin made a good start as they looked for an improbable comeback and they played from the off with a ferocious tempo.

Marco Ruben put a header over the bar and then Cani had a great chance to get Villarreal back in the tie in the 7th minute but he struck the ball to the centre of the goal enabling Helton to palm the ball away.

Rossi just failed to connect with Ruben’s delivery in front of goal before Villarreal got a potential lifeline, Ruben beating the offside trap and putting the ball across to Cani who had got ahead of his marker and slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

After the initial excitement there were few clear-cut openings for either side before Rossi shot into the side-netting rather than picking out Cani in front of goal on the half-hour.

However, any hopes the Spanish side had of a comeback evaporated when Porto levelled in cruel circumstances for the hosts. Hulk went to shoot from 25 yards and, although his shot was on target, it hit Mateo Musacchio and looped over helpless goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

The tie was all over two minutes after half-time when Falcao hit his 16th goal of this year’s Europa League campaign, trapping and slotting home Fredy Guarin’s pass from the left.

But credit to Villarreal they never gave up. Capdevila took advantage of poor Porto defending when he collected a cross at the far post, brought the ball down and volleyed home with a quarter of an hour left. Then three minutes later the hosts were awarded a penalty when Nicolas Otamendi brought down Ruben, Rossi coolly lifting the ball home.

Creative Commons License photo credit: americanistadechiapas