Villarreal powered on at the top of Europa League Group A with a 4-1 home victory over FC Zurich. Marco Schonbachler's goal just before half-time cancelled out Cani's early opener for Villarreal, but the Yellow Submarine were back on top after striking twice in three second-half minutes through Luciano Vietto and Bruno Soriano. Replacement Giovani Dos Santos then added a fourth with 13 minutes to go as Villarreal recorded a ninth successive home win in European competition. They have also now scored four goals in each of their three European home matches this season. Villarreal could have recorded an even more comfortable win, but were denied by a couple of brilliant saves by visiting goalkeeper David Da Costa to deny Vietto and Gerard Moreno. Zurich could not make the most Da Costa's heroics, though, as they slumped to a second defeat in three group matches, while leaders Villarreal moved on to seven points following a deserved victory. It looked set to be a comfortable night for the Primera Division outfit when Cani gave them the lead after just five minutes, the experienced playmaker slotting home after unselfish work by Moreno, who had rounded Da Costa, but opted to pass instead of shoot himself. Villarreal pushed for a second goal, but were hit by a sucker-punch in the 43rd minute when Schonbachler drew Zurich level after turning in Yassine Chikhaoui's shot at the back post. Despite that setback, Villarreal could still have gone into half-time with the lead, but were denied a second goal in stoppage time by a superb stop from Da Costa to keep out Vietto's close-range header. Vietto also saw a weak effort go wide at the start of the second half, but the Argentinian youngster was not so profligate in the 57th minute as he put Villarreal back in front following a fine team move. Three minutes later the points were all but wrapped up as the home side added a third through captain Soriano's fantastic 25-yard free-kick. Da Costa could do little about that, but he prevented Moreno from notching a fourth goal in the 68th minute with another great save. The visiting keeper also kept out an effort from Cani, but Villarreal did get on the scoresheet again when substitute Giovani got in behind the Zurich defence to slot home and wrap up another home European win for the Yellow Submarine.
Football EUROPA LEAGUE