Villarreal with a narrow win over Salzburg


Villarreal will take a narrow advantage into the second leg of their Europa League last-32 tie against Salzburg after a 2-1 win in Spain on Thursday night. Denis Cheryshev volleyed home what proved to be the winner on the night in the 54th minute, only five minutes after Jonathan Soriano's penalty had levelled it for Salzburg. Ikechukwu Uche had broken the deadlock in the 32nd minute. Although Salzburg had the first chance of the night through Marco Djuricin just two minutes in, Villarreal soon took control of possession and pushed forward. Peter Gulacsi made a fine save to deny Manuel Trigueros in the ninth minute before then firing over the crossbar in the 24th minute. Soon after, Villarreal stopper Sergio Asenjo was called on to make a great save to keep out Andre Ramalho Silva's header. However, it was the hosts who made the breakthrough just after the half-hour mark, with Uche following up after Gulacsi kept out Luciano Vietto's shot with his feet. Moments later, Vietto had a chance to double their lead but he headed wide when well placed. Salzburg were level four minutes into the second half after Victor Ruiz Torre was guilty of a foul on Djuricin and Soriano accepted the chance to score from the spot. However, parity proved fleeting and Villarreal went back in front when Cheryshev volleyed them ahead from the edge of the area in the 54th minute. Pina then drew another save from Gulacsi, but the chances dried up in the final half an hour of the match with both sides seemingly content with a result which keeps the tie delicately poised going into the second leg in Austria.