A huge step (0-2)
A huge step (0-2)

Villarreal get back to winning ways beating FC Salzburg in the first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32

Crucial. Villarreal got back to winning by defeating FC Salzburg 0-2 in tonight’s first leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32. Paco Alcácer and Fer Niño gave the Yellow Submarine a valuable advantage going into next week’s return leg at the Estadio de la Cerámica.

The return of Capoue in the middle was what stood out in Unai Emery’s choice of side. In defence, another change Emery made was putting Pervis Estupiñán in at full-back.

The match against the Austrian league leaders was played at a high tempo from the first whistle. Both teams fought for the ball to the point of exhaustion and this led to fatigue in defence. The first clear chance of the game was Gerard’s header that went wide of the post from a nice Parejo ball into the box.

In the 27th minute, the Yellows were awarded a penalty after Kristensen knocked down Parejo in the area. Paco Alcácer stepped up to take the spot kick, but Stankovic guessed right and saved his effort.

The mistake didn’t intimidate Villarreal’s top class striker though and just 12 minutes later he opened the scoring. Parejo swung a lovely free-kick into the box, Gerard held off defenders and it fell to Paco to head the ball home (0-1, m. 40).

Rulli was also in action and coming out on top at the other end of the pitch. The Argentinean goalkeeper stole the ball from Daka as the Salzburg forward tried to take it around him and score. Rulli’s speed to come off his line and skill to get the ball clear were sublime.

In the second half, Emery changed things up by bringing Foyth, Pedraza and Fer Niño on. And it was the former Yellows Academy striker to add the second for the visitors. Pedraza played the ball to Trigueros, who opened the play out onto the right into the path of Gerard and the No.7 picked out Fer Niño with a brilliant ball in that the youngster powered into the back of the net with his head. (0-2, m. 70). “Golazo”.

The second leg of the Round of 32 will be played on Thursday 25th February at the Estadio de la Cerámica (6:55pm CET). Up next, Villarreal CF will be bak in LaLiga action against Athletic Club this Sunday at 9pm CET at San Mamés.


FC Salzburg: Stankovic; Kristensen, Vallci, Solet, Ulmer; Mwepu, Aaronson (Adeyemi, m. 60), Juzunovic (Bernede, m. 73), Sucic (Okafor, m. 60); Berisha and Daka.

Villarreal CF: Rulli; Peña (Foyth, m. 46), Albiol, Pau, Estupiñán; Trigueros, Capoue (Jaume Costa, m. 73), Parejo; Gerard (Yeremy, m. 83), Paco Alcácer (Fer Niño, m. 58) and Moi Gómez (Pedraza, m. 59).

Goals: 0-1. Min. 40: Paco Alcácer. 0-2. Min. 70: Fer Niño.

Referee: Andris Treimanis (Latvia). Booked: Kristensen, Solet, Okafor and Ulmer for Salzburg; Albiol for Villarreal.

Information: First leg of the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 played at Salzburg Arena.