Villarreal CF picked up three valuable UEFA Cup Group C points at Czech challengers FK Mladá Boleslav in a victory inspired by playmaker Matías Fernández.
The Chilean international was a constant threat and set up goals for Nihat Kahveci and Santi Cazorla to ensure Alexandre Mendy's late strike was only a consolation. Villarreal are level with ACF Fiorentina on four points from two games, having drawn with the Viola on Matchday 1, while this was Mladá Boleslav's first match in the group.
Fernández signalled his attacking intent from the fourth minute with a shot from distance which flew past the post. Both sides began to find their composure after a frenetic start although midfielder Tomáš Sedláček picked up a yellow card in the 31st minute which rules him out of Mladá Boleslav's trip to IF Elfsborg on 29 November. Two minutes later Villarreal went ahead as Fernández's cross from the left picked out Turkish striker Nihat Kahveci perfectly and his low shot beat home goalkeeper Miroslav Miller.
Mladá Boleslav responded well after the break, taking the game to their Spanish visitors who preferred to utilise the counterattack. And it was on a foray forward that Fernández helped create Villarreal's second in the 56th minute, his incisive pass allowing Santi Cazorla to send a shot across the face of goal and into the bottom right-hand corner.
Now Villarreal looked to finish the game off and Fernández and Jon Dahl Tomasson both went close. The home side pulled one back with a minute of normal time remaining when substitute Jakub Řezníček sent in a dangerous ball from the left and Mendy connected perfectly. Mladá Boleslav had a desperate push for an equaliser but without troubling the Villarreal defence.
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