Giuseppe Rossi told UEFA.com that Villarreal CF's 5-1 UEFA Europa League quarter-final victory against FC Twente was proof that the Yellow Submarine could do "dirty work" as well as stylish passing football.
Villarreal may often be compared to a small-town version of FC Barcelona, for their pass-and-move style and emphasis on creative play, yet goalscorer Rossi was eager to underline that they can slog too. "There is lots of stuff people don't see in our game" he told UEFA.com. "
Fans see the goals, the nice passing and appreciate how we keep the ball, but the dirty work – very few people see that.
"However tonight showed we have everything," added the one-time Manchester United FC striker. "The good all-round performance was required because Twente started well, kept the ball, pressed well and things only changed in our favour with [Carlos] Marchena's goal. It gave us more confidence on the ball, we suddenly started playing our normal game and, ultimately, it meant we got five goals."
While Marchena and Borja Valero got on the scoresheet, it was the Rossi-Nilmar partnership – which has produced 14 UEFA Europa League goals this term – that seems to have put the tie beyond Twente. "This is our second year playing together and we are doing better now than last season," Italian international Rossi said. "My goal came because he bought me time and space. The centre-back went just a little towards Nilmar because he saw him to my left and that opened a little space. I tried something, it came off and, yes, it was a nice goal."
A booking leaves Nilmar suspended for next Thursday's second leg in the Netherlands, though he did not appear too disappointed. Reflecting on a great week for Spanish sides in Europe, with Barcelona and Real Madrid CF also winning handsomely in the UEFA Champions League, the 26-year-old Brazil forward said: "We play in a very difficult league in Spain, with Madrid and Barcelona at a different level to everyone else – 20 points ahead. But the Liga is somewhere that teams like to play attacking football and create chances, and that's the key to Spanish teams having such a good week."
Twente, meanwhile, had plenty to regret following a bright start at El Madrigal, with defensive midfielder Denny Landzaat particularly unhappy about the Dutch champions and current Eredivisie leaders' defending. "They are a team of little guys while we have lots of big guys who can score from, or defend, dead-ball situations, but they still scored," the 34-year-old said. "It's true that we started really well and imposed our game for about 20 minutes but to concede the first goal from a corner was bad. We let them into the game and were a little unlucky in that the score ended up so big and that we are now, I think, out of the Europa League."
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