Villarreal CF 1-3 Sevilla FC
Vitolo struck the fastest goal in UEFA Europa League history as the visitors established a healthy first-leg lead.
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• Vitolo scores after 13.21 seconds: the fastest goal in UEFA Europa League history
• Stéphane Mbia and Kevin Gameiro add others for victorious Sevilla
• Luciano Vietto gives hope to Villarreal with his sixth of campaign
• Both sides strike the woodwork in end-to-end all-Spanish game
• The second leg is next Thursday in Seville, with the quarter-final draw the following day
Sevilla FC took a big step towards the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals after a record early goal set up a comfortable 3-1 win at Villarreal CF.
Unai Emery's team got off to a dream start, Vitolo finishing from Kevin Gameiro's pass with just 13 seconds on the clock to plunder the fastest goal in UEFA Europa League history. The visitors doubled their lead through Stéphane Mbia's header, but Luciano Vietto breathed life into his side with a 48th-minute retort, only for Kevin Gameiro to strike again for the holders.
Despite Vitolo's goal, Villarreal dominated the first half and kept creating chances. Vietto hit the crossbar seconds after his side went behind and Jaume Costa came close to equalising with a 25th-minute header. However, the Yellow Submarine were undone again moments later, left-back Benoît Trémoulinas's brilliant cross teeing Mbia up for a header which Sergio Asenjo could do nothing about.
It was a cruel blow, but things could easily have deteriorated further, Sevilla's Aleix Vidal hitting the bar in the 40th minute. Determined to make the most of that reprieve, Villarreal sprang back after the break, Vietto making the most of Mateo Musacchio's run inside the box. Two minutes later, though, Gameiro's volley restored the away team's two-goal advantage.
Villarreal continued creating chances as substitute Joel Campbell and Denis Cheryshev both went close. Then, in the 90th minute, Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico made two outstanding saves to deny Gerard Moreno from close range and leave the Andalusian team in sight of the last eight.