Barring a remarkable turn of events in the semi-final second leg, FC Porto's Falcao appears certain to be crowned top scorer in the 2010/11 UEFA Europa League after his four goals against Villarreal CF took his tally to a record-equalling 15.
One ahead of Villarreal's Giuseppe Rossi at kick-off, the Colombia striker stormed clear in the standings thanks to four second-half strikes in the Dragons' 5-1 home win – his third goal, a diving header from Fredy Guarín's free-kick, completed his third hat-trick in the competition this season. As a result, the 25-year-old equalled Jürgen Klinsmann's 15-goal haul in FC Bayern Munchen's UEFA Cup-winning campaign of 1995/96.
Rossi has the chance to respond in the return leg next Thursday, when strike partner Nilmar can add to his tally of five goals, which gives him a share of fourth place with seven other players. One of those, Guarín, was also on target against Villarreal. PFC CSKA Moskva forward Tomáš Necid holds third position with six goals.
A full list of the leading scorers in this season's UEFA Europa League, as well as a host of other statistics, can be found here.
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