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Valencia v Villarreal background

Two late goals have put Valencia in control of the all-Spanish quarter-final, giving them a 3-1 lead as Villarreal come to Mestalla.

Valencia's Gonçalo Guedes celebrates his first-leg double at Villarreal
Valencia's Gonçalo Guedes celebrates his first-leg double at Villarreal ©Getty Images

Two late breakaway goals in the first leg have put Valencia in control of this all-Spanish UEFA Europa League quarter-final against local rivals Villarreal, giving them a 3-1 lead to protect in front of their own fans at Mestalla.

• Valencia's autumn campaign was in the UEFA Champions League, where they finished third behind Juventus and Manchester United in Group H (W2 D2 L2). They eased past Celtic, 3-0 over the two legs, in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 but needed a dramatic added-time equaliser away to Krasnodar in the round of 16 second leg to eliminate the Russian side 3-2 on aggregate.

• Undefeated until the home game against Valencia, Villarreal drew four times and won twice in topping Group G as they secured a knockout phase berth for a fifth successive season. They recorded a 2-1 aggregate success against Sporting CP in the round of 32 (1-0 away, 1-1 home) before winning both round of 16 encounters against Zenit (3-1 away, 2-1 home).

Highlights: Villarreal 1-3 Valencia

Previous meetings
• Valencia took the lead after six minutes in the first leg when Gonçalo Guedes, the goalscoring hero in the round of 16 at Krasnodar, converted the rebound after Andrés Fernández had saved Daniel Parejo's penalty. Santi Cazorla levelled from the spot before the interval, before two late Valencia counterattacks delivered goals from Daniel Wass and Guedes.

• The teams have been paired together once previously in UEFA competition, Valencia overcoming Villarreal 1-0 on aggregate (0-0 away, 1-0 home) in the semi-finals of the 2003/04 UEFA Cup, which they went on to win. That was Villarreal's debut season in major European competition.

• The clubs have met 38 times in the Spanish Liga. Villarreal have the edge with 16 wins to Valencia's 14.

• Valencia have played 18 UEFA matches against fellow Liga clubs, including the 2000 UEFA Champions League final against Real Madrid, which they lost 3-0 at the Stade de France. Their home record in such fixtures is W6 D1 L1. They won their first three two-legged ties against Spanish opposition but have lost their last four – all in the UEFA Europa League.

• Valencia's four previous UEFA Europa League campaigns have therefore all come to a halt against Spanish opposition, with elimination by Atlético Madrid in the 2009/10 quarter-finals and 2011/12 semi-finals, Sevilla in the 2013/14 semi-finals and Athletic Club in the 2015/16 round of 16. Only in the latter case did their conquerors not go on to lift the trophy.

• Villarreal have won only one of nine UEFA fixtures against fellow Spanish opposition and just one of four knockout ties, their 2-0 first-leg victory against Atlético Madrid in the 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup final preceding a defeat by the same score in Madrid and a penalty shoot-out success. Their most recent European engagement with a Spanish club prior to this tie brought home and away defeats by eventual winners Sevilla in the 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 16, the loss in Seville their third in succession against Spanish hosts in Europe.

Five #UEL quarter-final stunners

Form guide
• Fourth in the Spanish Liga in 2017/18, Valencia qualified for an 11th UEFA Champions League group stage campaign after two consecutive seasons without European football. Runners-up in that competition in both 1999/2000 and 2000/01, they lifted the UEFA Cup in 2004.

• Valencia lost twice without scoring against Juventus in the autumn but took four points off both Manchester United and Young Boys, beating each at home and drawing away. Celtic were subsequently brushed aside in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 (2-0 away, 1-0 home) before substitute Guedes's late strike in Russia (1-1), which supplemented a first-leg double by Rodrigo (2-1), knocked out Krasnodar.

• This is the Spanish side's fourth appearance in the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals, and they have won two of their three previous ties at this stage, losing to Atlético on away goals in 2009/10 (2-2 home, 0-0 away) but overcoming AZ Alkmaar in 2011/12 (1-2 away, 4-0 home) and Basel in 2013/14 (0-3 away, 5-0aet home).

• Valencia are undefeated in ten UEFA Europa League home games, with wins in the last seven during which they have scored 20 goals and conceded just three. The last team to defeat them at Mestalla in this competition were Swansea City, who racked up a 3-0 win on matchday one in 2013/14.

• There have been 16 previous UEFA competition ties in which Valencia have led after the first away leg and they have qualified on each occasion, most recently against Celtic in this season's round of 32. They have never previously won the first away leg 3-1.

#UEL semi-final flashback: Valencia v Villarreal

• Villarreal finished fifth in the 2017/18 Spanish Liga to qualify for Europe for the fifth successive season, all of them featuring UEFA Europa League group stage participation and subsequent progress to the knockout phase.

• In total they have made seven UEFA Europa League group appearances and have never finished outside the top two. They topped their section for only the third time this term, drawing all three away games – 3-3 at Spartak Moskva and 0-0 at Rapid Wien and Rangers – before winning both knockout games in Lisbon and St Petersburg.

• Villarreal are in the quarter-finals for the third time, and have won each of the previous two ties at this juncture, overcoming Twente 8-2 on aggregate in 2010/11 (5-1 home, 3-1 away) and Sparta Praha 6-3 overall in 2015/16 (2-1 home, 4-2 away). The defeat in the first leg therefore ended their perfect record in UEFA Europa League quarter-final matches.

• Villarreal have lost only one of their last 13 UEFA Europa League away matches (W5 D7) – against Lyon in last season's round of 32 (1-3). Their away record overall in the competition's knockout phase is W7 D3 L5.

• In six attempts Villarreal have never managed to overturn a first-leg home deficit in a UEFA tie. The one previous occasion that they were beaten 3-1 at home in the first leg was that 2014/15 UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against Sevilla (1-2 away).

Daniel Wass after scoring Valencia's second goal at Villarreal
Daniel Wass after scoring Valencia's second goal at Villarreal©Getty Images

Links and trivia 
• Valencia coach Marcelino was in charge of Villarreal between 2013 and 2016.

• Víctor Ruiz made 59 Liga appearances for Valencia between 2011 and 2014 before leaving to join Villarreal. The defender made his 50th UEFA Europa League appearance, group stage to final, in the first leg, becoming only the sixth player to reach that landmark.

• Russian international Denis Cheryshev is on loan at Valencia from Villarreal, for whom he has made 61 Liga appearances, scoring six times, during two spells.

• Valencia defender Gabriel Paulista made 37 league appearances for Villarreal from 2013 to 2015.

• Valencia trio José Gayà, Daniel Parejo and Rodrigo have all played for Spain in 2018/19 – as has Villarreal's Pablo Fornals.

• While Villarreal's unbeaten run in this season's UEFA Europa League ended at ten matches with their first-leg loss, Valencia remain undefeated in their five 2018/19 UEFA Europa League matches.

• Villarreal have played more games than any other club in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (73), and have also scored the most goals (124).

• Valencia are one of four former winners of the trophy in this season's quarter-finals, along with Chelsea, Napoli and Eintracht Frankfurt.

• Valencia are through to the final of the Copa del Rey in Seville, where they will face holders Barcelona on 25 May.

Santi Cazorla converts a first-leg penalty for Villarreal
Santi Cazorla converts a first-leg penalty for Villarreal©AFP/Getty Images

Penalty shoot-outs
• Valencia's record in four UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L2:
5-4 v Arsenal, 1979/80 European Cup Winners' Cup final
4-5 v Bayern München, 2000/01 UEFA Champions League final
5-4 v Celtic, 2001/02 UEFA Cup third round
3-4 v Steaua Bucureşti, 2004/05 UEFA Cup round of 32

• Villarreal's record in two UEFA penalty shoot-outs is W2 L0:
4-3 v Torino, 2002 UEFA Intertoto Cup third round
3-1 v Atlético Madrid, 2004 UEFA Intertoto Cup final

The coaches
• Marcelino's career as a midfielder, which included representing Spain at youth and Under-21 level, was curtailed at the age of 28 by injury. As a coach, he worked his way up the Spanish leagues, stints with Zaragoza, Real Racing Club and Sevilla preceding an impressive three-and-a-half-year spell at Villarreal, whom he guided to promotion, three successive top-six Liga finishes and the 2015/16 UEFA Europa League semi-finals. He was appointed by Valencia in May 2017.

• First appointed on 25 September 2017, Javier Calleja was reinstated as Villarreal's coach on 29 January – just 50 days after being dismissed and replaced by Luis García Plaza. He represented the club as a player from 1999 to 2006, having started out at academy level with Real Madrid, and returned as a youth coach in 2012/13 after hanging up his boots. He was coaching the B team, a position he had held for only a few weeks, when he was originally promoted to the top job. Villarreal finished fifth in the Liga in his first season in charge.