Levante UD consolidated second place in UEFA Europa League Group L with a 3-0 home win against FC Twente which served as a finishing lesson for their vanquished opponents.
Juan Ignacio Martínez's team, sixth in Spain last season, took advantage of the platform given them by Míchel's 59th-minute penalty to run away with the game in the closing exchanges. With Pedro Ríos's two close-range goals finally seeing off Steve McClaren's Dutch league leaders, Twente now risk a first failure to progress from the group stage in this, their fourth campaign.
In truth, there was little to separate the sides for nearly an hour on a wet night in Valencia, with the opening forays largely played out in home territory – but spiced by the Liga side's counterattacking threat. That menace was underlined when Fanis Gekas turned the ball narrowly wide of Nikolay Mihaylov's goal after Ríos had found him free in the Twente box.
Meanwhile, from Míchel's pass, Papa Diop wriggled free but had his attempt rebuffed by Mihaylov. The Enschede outfit replied when Nacer Chadli rattled the crossbar with a swerving shot, before Dušan Tadić had the ball in the net with a brilliant left-footed effort from 30 metres – only to have it ruled out for offside against a team-mate.
If the first half fizzled out under a continuous downpour, the second almost began with a bang. Twente right-back Roberto Rosales raided from midfield and exchanged passes with Tadić, before warming goalkeeper Keylor Navas's hands.
Yet the breakthrough arrived at the other end as Douglas was adjudged to have handled Nikos Karabelas's strike on goal. Midfielder Míchel's subsequent penalty had too much power for Mihaylov, and the same player was then prominent in Levante's second strike on 78 minutes as his first-time cross was tapped in by Ríos.
Ríos struck again ten minutes later, once more in predatory fashion, when he followed up Rubén García's shot after it had been parried by Mihaylov. The result leaves a four-point gap between Levante, on six, and third-placed Twente.
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