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Rossi earns Villarreal top spot
Giuseppe Rossi struck twice as Villarreal fought back from a goal down to defeat Club Brugge 2-1 and secure themselves first place in Europa League Group D.

Brugge, who were certain to finish bottom of the standings no matter what happened this evening, took the lead through Dorge Kouemaha's 28th-minute diving header, but within six minutes already-qualified Villarreal were ahead thanks to Rossi.

The Italy international drew the Spanish high-flyers level on the half-hour mark and then netted what would prove to be the winner from the penalty spot after he had been barged over inside the area by Ryan Donk.

Villarreal's victory means they finish a point clear of second-placed PAOK Salonika, who joined the Yellow Submarine in the last 32 after beating Dinamo Zagreb.

Brugge came into the match searching for their first win in Group D but they gave themselves a chance of ending that poor run by going ahead through Kouemaha's close-range finish.

Jonathan Blondel's shot from the edge of the box was superbly tipped onto the crossbar by Villarreal goalkeeper Diego Lopez, but the Spain custodian was powerless to keep out the follow-up header from Kouemaha.

The Belgian side's joy was short-lived, though, as they had no answer to the in-form Rossi.

The former Manchester United man was denied by Geert de Vlieger in the 29th minute but 60 seconds later he left the Club Brugge goalkeeper with no chance to save as he headed home Joan Capdevila's left-wing cross from near the penalty spot.

Villarreal created another chance almost immediately, Marco Ruben bringing another save out of De Vlieger, before Juan Carlos Garrido's men won a penalty.

Rossi went crashing under the challenge of Donk, and he dusted himself down before firing past De Vlieger for his 13th goal in all competitions this season.

Rossi came close to netting his hat-trick in the 49th minute but De Vlieger did well to block, while Ruben also saw an effort saved by the home goalkeeper later in the half as Villarreal sought to finish the game off.

At the other end Ivan Perisic saw a 20-yard drive go just wide of the far top corner while Kouemaha will feel hard done by to have a late header ruled out for offside as winless Club Brugge slumped to their third defeat in six games.
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