Cedric Bakambu Brace Gives Villarreal First-Leg Edge Over Sparta Prague
Cedric Bakambu struck two times as Villarreal beat a depleted Sparta Prague 2-one in the very first leg of the Europa League quarter-final at El Madrigal on Thursday.
Sparta goalie David Bicik gifted Villarreal the opener within the third minute, dallying and hitting a clearance off striker Bakambu, which ricocheted in to the internet.
Ladislav Krejci’s goal was appropriately eliminated for Sparta and Bicik designed a string of saves before Jakub Brabec headed a potentially key away goal in first-half injuries time.
Bakambu place the hosts in front after half-time having a superbly taken effort after Denis Suarez produced space around the fringe of the penalty area.
Bicik made yet more saves within the other half to help keep Sparta, 1 of 2 unbeaten sides within the competition, within touching distance, as Bakambu was denied a hat-trick through the goalkeeper’s excellent reactions.
Injuries-hit Sparta’s task is created tougher by Mario Holek limping off and Brabec and Costa Nhamoinesu both collecting bookings that rule them from the second leg.
Their evening departed to some shocking start as Villarreal required charge inside three minutes, goalie Bicik taking too lengthy on your ball and allowing Bakambu to charge his clearance lower and deflect it in to the internet.
Mario must have bending Villarreal’s lead after nine minutes, turning a large part within the crossbar from close range after Victor Ruiz’s flick.
Bicik then saved from Samu Castillejo and Roberto Soldado grown a totally free header wide because the visitors, who have been not able to mention a complete substitutes bench because of injuries, battled in early stages.
Krejci were built with a goal disallowed for offside after twenty minutes before Bakambu nearly profited from another defensive error, this time around by Brabec, but Bicik saved well together with his ft.
Bicik was keeping his side within the tie and that he denied Bakambu again after 31 minutes because he ongoing to complete his early error.
Castillejo shot over from 10 yards and Ruiz headed off target, with chances coming regularly for Villarreal, who’d soon regret not scoring another goal.
Sparta levelled deep in first-half injuries time when Brabec got obvious of Mario in a corner and powerfully headed home his third Europa League goal of year.
Mario hit the crossbar having a header soon after the interval before Soldado forced a great save from Bicik.
Villarreal retook charge after 62 minutes when Bakambu bent an incredible finish into Bicik’s bottom-left corner from 20 yards, the striker hitting his sixth goal in five Europa League matches at El Madrigal this year.
Bicik designed a fine double-save from Suarez and Bakambu after 73 minutes because the La Liga side searched for to place the tie from Sparta’s each, the goalie also saving from Suarez in injuries time.
The Czech outfit can’t be eliminated getting beaten Krasnodar and Lazio enroute towards the last-eight, but Villarreal’s narrow lead provides them a slender edge in front of next week’s second leg.