Villarreal beat FC Zürich in their first Europa League match with goals from Pato and Jonathan
Villarreal started out on the right foot in their participation in the UEFA Europa League. The Submarine made the comeback against FC Zürich with two great goals from Pato and Jonathan dos Santos in a match the Submarine just got better and better in throughout. Fran Esribá made eight changes to the starting eleven with respect to the line-up that started against Málaga, giving Álvaro González his debut, who played at centre back next to Víctor Ruiz.
The tie started with a shock. The Swiss side went ahead in the first minute of the match as the ball had just started being played around the El Madrigal’s impeccable pitch. Sadiku picked up a loose ball and hit a long range shot from outside the box that flew into the bottom corner of Andrés Fernandez’s net (0-1).
The Submarine did not let the early setback unsettle them though and went all out for the equalizer. They got it before the half an hour mark. Jonathan dos Santos played a great through ball to Pato and the Brazilian striker surprised FC Zürich goalkeeper Vanins with a spectacular half volley across goal (1-1). The beginning of a lethal connection between the Yellows numer 8 and number 10.
Just before the break goal number two arrived for the Yellows. It was simply brilliant. It was Jonathan dos Santos and Pato who connected again. To you, to me, to you, to me and goal. A fantastic goal. The Mexican midfielder volleyed the ball and it rocketed into the Zürich net.
The team led by Fran Escribá controlled the game in the second half, easily keeping out the Swiss’ attempts to attack. The Submarine were the ones attacking more though. Among their chances was a great shot across goal by Santos Borré –who celebrates his 21st birthday today- that the Zürich keeper kept out by the tip of his fingers (64th minute).
In the 71st minute Villarreal scored through Sansone but it was ruled offside. The Submarine’s next UEFA Europa League match in Group L will be against FC Steaua de Bucarest on Thursday 29th September in Romania (7pm).
Villarreal CF: Andrés; Rukavina, Álvaro, Víctor Ruiz, José Ángel; Jonathan dos Santos (Castillejo, m. 70), N’Diaye, Bruno, Cheryshev (Soriano, m. 80); Pato and Santos Borré (Sansone, m. 67).
FC Zürich: Vanins; Bangura, Nef, Kecojevic, Brunner; Voser, Sarr (Yapi, m. 57), Kukeli, Winter (Schonbachler, m. 64); Rodríguez (Cavusevic, m. 84) and Sadiku.
Goals: 0-1. Min. 2: Sadiku. 1-1. Min. 28: Pato. 2-1. Min. 44: Jonathan dos Santos.
Referee: Sébastien Delferiere (Belgium). Cautioned: Jonathan dos Santos for Villarreal; Voser, Winter, Kukeli, Kecojevic and Nef for FC Zürich.
Stadium: El Madrigal.