Having put NK Dinamo Zagreb to the sword on Matchday 5, Villarreal CF's players are crystal clear about the next two objectives – finishing top of UEFA Europa League Group D and then winning the tournament.
The Yellow Submarine's 3-0 victory over their Croatian visitors on Thursday clinched qualification and showcased Giuseppe Rossi's immense talent and stunning form. The striker scored or created all the goals, demanding a first-class display from Dinamo keeper Ivan Kelava to prevent an even firmer defeat. Italian international Rossi told UEFA.com: "This was a very important performance because we felt it was vital to go through to the next round tonight.
"Now we want to qualify in first position so we will keep working hard," the 23-year-old added. "We also want to win this tournament and our playing style – keeping the ball, playing one-twos and getting lots of shots in – means great football. Villarreal have a strong enough team to go far, but we must keep our feet on the ground and stick with the hard work if things are to go that well."
Dinamo left-back Leandro Cufré was sure that his side had let a great chance slip after two goals from Rossi and a Marco Ruben strike punished Vahid Halilhodžić's men for missing early opportunities. He explained to UEFA.com: "We knew Villarreal would pressure us in the first 15 minutes so we tried to do the same to them. We created two or three clear openings to score but lacked the final touch or a perfect pass in order to convert them. Then when the penalty went in [on 25 minutes] it felt like the game just slipped away from us."
The night's most experienced campaigner, 34-year-old Marcos Senna, who also had a late Villarreal spot kick saved, confirmed to UEFA.com: "Thankfully Dinamo didn't score first because they looked like they were going to. Once we went ahead we took control and put in a great performance. This team has the ability to go all the way so let's see whether we can achieve that."
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