FC Salzburg got their UEFA Europa League campaign off to a perfect start with a convincing victory over IF Elfsborg in Group C, with Jonatan Soriano scoring a hat-trick.
The Austrian Bundesliga runners-up dominated the first half, scoring twice before the break. Alan grabbed the opener with a fine curled shot after 36 minutes, and the Brazilian won a penalty eight minutes later, which was scored by Soriano. The Spanish captain made it 3-0 in the 69th minute, and completed his hat-trick 11 minutes from full-time.
Salzburg were full of attacking intent from kick-off, with Soriano missing several good opportunities for the hosts, skewing a half-volley wide on 17 minutes, and forcing a save from Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard six minutes later. The Swedish champions had a rare foray into the hosts' half after 31 minutes, when Lasse Nilsson had an effort blocked by goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi.
Alan gave Salzburg the breakthrough they deserved after 36 minutes, cutting inside and curling an excellent left footed shot into the top corner. Shortly after, the Brazilian won the Austrians a penalty after he was fouled by Joachim Jørgensen, which was converted by Soriano.
Salzburg continued to control the match in the second half, with Soriano and Alan linking up once again for their third goal in the 69th minute, the former tapping in a pinpoint cross from his team-mate. Johan Larsson forced a smart save from Gulácsi a few minutes later, but Soriano wrapped up his hat-trick on 79 minutes to complete a fine win for the hosts.
Esbjerg fB await the Austrian side next, while Elfsborg host R. Standard de Liège.
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