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Vivacious Villarreal ease into next stage

Villarreal CF 3-0 NK Dinamo Zagreb
Two goals from Giuseppe Rossi and a Marco Ruben effort earned the Spanish team a place in the draw for the round of 32.

Vivacious Villarreal ease into next stage
Vivacious Villarreal ease into next stage ©UEFA.com

Villarreal CF powered into the round of 32 thanks to a 3-0 win against NK Dinamo Zagreb.

Two goals from Giuseppe Rossi and one for Marco Ruben left the Yellow Submarine top of Group D and looking strong UEFA Europa League contenders. The victory could have been greater had Marcos Senna not missed an 86th-minute penalty for which Igor Bišćan was dismissed. Given the plethora of chances it was remarkable that the hosts took until after the hour to seal the win. Rossi, in particular, fought a duel with Ivan Kelava during which the goalkeeper made a number of fine saves.

That domination followed a hectic spell in which Dinamo should have taken the lead. Borja Valero failed to clear in the 14th minute and Tonel's shot looped off Bruno Soriano, evading Diego López and deflecting on to the post. Chaos resulted from the corner. Milan Badelj's shot landed at the feet of Fatos Bećiraj on the goal line but somehow the Villarreal goalkeeper stuck out his foot behind him and scooped the chance away.

Villarreal reacted with top-class ruthlessness and, once pardoned, took the lead. Ruben buzzed clear of the offside trap and Kelava cut him down. From the penalty, Rossi won one instalment of his mini battle, sending the keeper the wrong way. Before the break it should have been two, at least, with an audacious one-two between Mateo Musacchio and Santi Cazorla leaving Kelava saving bravely at the former's feet before Šime Vrsaljko's last-ditch block denied Rossi on the rebound.

To his credit the Italian international would not accept his ill fortune. Before he created Ruben's goal, Rossi forced Kelava to excel and a pass to Cani led to the midfielder hitting the post. Ruben then showed calm to slide the ball under the Dinamo No1 in the 62nd minute when sent clear by his strike partner. Rossi won extra rewards when substitute Nilmar set him up with ten minutes left.