Europa League - Villarreal win to set up Porto clash
Villarreal overcame a first-half scare by coming from behind to win 3-1 at FC Twente, sealing a 8-2 aggregate win that puts them in the semi-finals of the Europa League.
The Dutch side, chasing a 5-1 deficit from the first leg in Spain, took a 32nd-minute lead through Emir Bajrami in a first half they dominated, missing a gilt-edged chance to go 2-0 up before the break.
But second-half penalties from Giuseppe Rossi and Ruben, the first of which was given by the fifth official and saw Dwight Tiendalli sent off, gave the Yellow Submarine a comfortable aggregate score before Cani smashed home a superb late half-volley to seal the win.
They will next meet Portuguese champions Porto, who pushed their credentials with a 10-3 aggregate win over Spartak Moscow.
Chances were few and far between in a first half that saw Twente seem more concerned about saving their legs for their Eredivisie run-in, while Villarreal could have been forgiven for taking their foot off the gas after a 5-1 first-leg win at El Madrigal.
Twente had the better of it though, with Bajrami forcing Diego Lopez into a smart save on the quarter-hour, and they deserved the lead they took in some style just after the half-hour.
The finish was simple - a sliding Bajrami tapped the ball into an empty net - but the build-up superb as Costa Rican forward Bryan Ruiz combined with Dutchman Theo Janssen in a one-touch move on the left that was capped off by the latter backheeling the former clean through.
Twente sensed an upset - they needed to win 4-0 - and Bajrami almost turned provider late in the half when his superb skill allowed him to drill a low cross-shot into the six-yard box, with the sliding Janko just unable to convert.
Their hopes of a comeback were all-but ended just before the hour mark though when Tiendalli brought down Jose Catala, the fifth official behind the goal pointing it out to the referee, who showed a straight red card.
Rossi tucked the spot-kick away to the right with Sander Boschker going the wrong way and the game was effectively up for Twente.
Now down to 10 men the Dutch league leaders were exposed at the back as, while Bajrami and substitute Ola John (brother of former Fulham striker Collins John) impressed, Villarreal picked them apart at will.
Paraguayan substitute Hernan Perez, on his first-team debut, fired just wide after some neat skill on the right, and with eight minutes left Juan Carlos Garrido’s side had a second penalty when the youngster was brought down by Bart Buysse’s clumsy tackle.
With Rossi off the pitch Ruben sent a low finish into the bottom left to seal complete the win.