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Apollon no match for lively Villarreal

Villarreal CF 4-0 Apollon Limassol FC
Gerard Moreno and Javier Espinosa scored two each as the Yellow Submarine surged to the top of Group A.

Javier Espinosa wheels away after scoring for Villarreal
Javier Espinosa wheels away after scoring for Villarreal ©AFP/Getty Images

Gerard Moreno scores first European goals for Villarreal
Javier Espinosa marks group stage debut with two strikes
Villarreal thrive under temporary command of Rubén Uría
Next games: Villarreal v Zürich, Mönchengladbach v Apollon (23 October)

Gerard Moreno and Javier Espinosa both scored a goal in each half as Villarreal CF made light work of Apollon Limassol FC in UEFA Europa League Group A.

Semi-finalists in this competition in 2003/04 and 2010/11, Villarreal showed pace and purpose from the start in the absence of coach Marcelino García, who is mourning the death of his father. Assistant coach Rubén Uría – in temporary command – had already seen his charges create openings before Cani's first-time delivery placed the ball in the path of Moreno, who made it 1-0 on nine minutes.

The Yellow Submarine continued to create chances, and Espinosa duly upstaged his team-mate on 44 minutes, making it 2-0 with a sweet finish from Luciano Vietto's ball.

The introduction of substitute Guie Gneki Abraham gave Christos Christoforou’s side a little more attacking traction after the break, but Apollon were rarely off the back foot for long. Espinosa produced a fine finish into the corner to extend Villarreal's lead on 51 minutes, and Moreno beat Apollon goalkeeper Bruno Vale again on 69 minutes only for his effort to come back of the crossbar. However, he was not frustrated for long, Giovani dos Santos teeing Moreno up for Villarreal's fourth.

Victory leaves Villarreal top of Group A, with a home game against bottom side FC Zürich next up.