The official website for European football

Cazorla keeps Villarreal's home fires burning

Published: Wednesday 27 April 2011, 22.05CET
With the second leg at their El Madrigal fortress to come, winger Santi Cazorla urged Villarreal CF to "keep the dream of going through to the final alive" when they meet FC Porto on Thursday.
by John Atkin
from Estádio do Dragão
Cazorla keeps Villarreal's home fires burning
Santi Cazorla celebrates a goal for Villarreal ©Getty Images
Published: Wednesday 27 April 2011, 22.05CET

Cazorla keeps Villarreal's home fires burning

With the second leg at their El Madrigal fortress to come, winger Santi Cazorla urged Villarreal CF to "keep the dream of going through to the final alive" when they meet FC Porto on Thursday.

Santi Cazorla urged Villarreal CF to retain focus and take every chance they get at FC Porto in the first instalment of their UEFA Europa League semi-final, always keeping in mind next Thursday's return at their El Madrigal fortress.

"We are braced for a very difficult match but we believe in ourselves and keeping the dream of going through to the final is very much alive," said the Spain winger. "We have to take our opportunities, try to sneak a goal every time we get in the final third. I think it will be a very open tie and it is vitally important that we get the best possible result, as we will be even better at home."

Indeed, the Yellow Submarine have a 100% record at El Madrigal in seven European games this season, scoring 20 goals and conceding just three, two of which were consolation efforts in big aggregate victories. Cazorla has been ever-present throughout, and is keen to get a head start in Portugal on Thursday. "We have been playing well away from home in this competition," said the 26-year-old. "That's helping fuel the belief that we can go through."

Key will be stopping in-form striker Falcao, scorer of eight goals in Porto's last five outings and a competition-leading 11 in the UEFA Europa League this season. "Falcao is Porto's most dangerous man, we'll have to keep a close eye on him," said Cazorla, a picture of calm after the intense pre-match thoughts of coach Juan Carlos Garrido that preceded him. "We can't lose the ball near to our penalty area; we have to have to keep possession – then we'll have a chance." A result at the Estádio do Dragão and Villarreal will have more than just a chance.

Last updated: 28/04/11 15.53CET

Related information

Player profiles
Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/news/newsid=1620537.html#cazorla+keeps+villarreals+home+fires+burning

UEFA.com features

Isaac Kiese Thelin, Sweden's forward on the rise
  • Isaac Kiese Thelin, Sweden's forward on the rise
  • 'Restless Rudi': the world's most-travelled coach
  • Paris coach Benstiti shows Glasgow respect
  • Italy's Rugani keeping his feet on the ground
  • Real Madrid's Ballon d'Or winners
  • Cristiano Ronaldo's 2014 in photos
  • From the Youth League to the Champions League
  • Argentinian strikers making a mark in Europe
  • Gerrard joins Europe's North American pioneers
  • Saido Berahino, England's danger man
1 of 10
 
  • © 1998-2015 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The UEFA word, the UEFA logo and all marks related to UEFA competitions, are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.