Goals from Giuseppe Rossi and substitute Marcos Senna sealed Villarreal CF's place in the round of 32 with a 2-0 away win against PFC Levski Sofia, a result which knocked the Bulgarian side out of the UEFA Europa League.
Top two confirmed
Rossi's brilliant volley and Senna's tidy finish were enough to earn Ernesto Valverde's men their first away win in UEFA club competition since December 2007, and made sure they would progress from Group G alongside FC Salzburg. Salzburg's 2-1 win against S.S. Lazio snuffed out the Italians' hopes of pipping Villarreal to qualification.
The Spanish club might have gone in front in the 15th minute when Ariel Ibagaza's free-kick found Joan Capdevila unmarked at the far post, but the defender could only head wide from close range. Rossi then failed to hit the target with a curling effort from the edge of the penalty area, but the Italian international made amends by giving Villarreal the lead nine minutes before half-time. The 22-year-old striker controlled Ibagaza's floated free-kick superbly before holding off Joãozinho and volleying beyond Bozhidar Mitrev from a tight angle.
Two minutes later, Villarreal goalkeeper Diego López could not gather Zé Soares' left-footed strike, and was relieved to see the ball trickle behind for a corner. Rossi was heavily involved again early in the second half, playing a clever return pass which sent David Fuster bearing down on Mitrev, who did well to block the midfielder's shot and ensure his side stayed in contention. However, Mitrev could do nothing when Senna, who had replaced Rossi, guided the ball in from 15 metres in the 84th minute to seal the Yellow Submarine's passage from the section.