Plzeň too powerful for Hapoel's ten men

FC Viktoria Plzeň 4-0 Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC
The Czech outfit are flying high in Group B after two goals in each half secured their third win in four matches while eliminating Hapoel.

Plzeň's players revel in their victory
Plzeň's players revel in their victory ©AFP/Getty Images

FC Viktoria Plzeň made it nine points from a possible 12 in the UEFA Europa League group stage after a comfortable victory over now-eliminated Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC.

The Group B table makes pleasant reading for Plzeň after this success, earned by Daniel Kolář's brace and strikes from David Štípek and Marek Bakoš, moved them level with leaders, and holders, Club Atletico de Madrid.

Plzeň had come from behind to win 2-1 in Israel a fortnight ago and were immediately on the front foot in the sequel on Czech soil. Even so, Hapoel nearly struck first when Salim Toama's free-kick whistled narrowly wide after Roei Gordana's upfield surge had been illegally halted.

The deadlock was instead broken at the other end on 23 minutes. Radim Řezník jinked inside Eliran Danin down Plzeň's right and crossed for Kolář to nod past Édel Apoula. Serious dominance followed for Pavel Vrba's team, with Řezník having a shot cleared off the line and Michal Ďuriš heading over. David Limberský forced a save from Apoula, before Marián Čišovský slid the hosts' umpteenth corner over.

It was from another set piece that the Czech First League club scored their second. Following Pavel Horváth's delivery, Marek Bakoš headed back across goal and David Štípek slotted home. If that wasn't enough of a setback for Josef Abuksis's side, Eric Djemba-Djemba's 41st-minute red card, for catching Vladimír Darida, certainly was.

The half-time introduction of Hapoel's 38-year-old defender Walid Badier hinted at damage limitation by the ten men. Though this was a meeting of sides lying third in their respective leagues, the sting had been taken out of the contest by the visitors being disadvantaged both numerically and on the scoreboard.

In the end, the victory was sealed in the final 14 minutes, first when Kolář sprang the offside trap to power in another Horváth centre following good work by Darida. Apoula was then beaten by a third and last headed goal, Bakoš's flicked finish from Řezník's cross.