Injury-time double puts Valencia in driving seat in Europa League
Valencia scored twice in stoppage time to secure a 3-1 victory away to local rivals Villarreal in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.
The result was harsh on the home side, who largely dominated possession yet were unable to create clear-cut chances againstValencia, who sit 12 places and 16 points above them in La Liga.
They were made to pay as a quick-fire double at the death from Daniel Wass and Goncalo Guedes, his second of the match, left them with a mountain to climb in next week’s second leg.
Guedes had opened the scoring after six minutes.
The Portugal forward was felled in the box by Santiago Caseres and although Valencia skipper Dani Parejo saw his penalty saved by Andres Fernandes – the second consecutive game in which he has missed a spot-kick – Guedes was on hand to net the rebound from close range.
After ceding the early advantage, Villarreal began to enjoy more of the ball, with Santi Cazorla causing problems for the Valenciabackline.
Cazorla, who himself missed a penalty at the weekend, drew his side level from the spot after Ezequiel Garay clumsily brought down Vicente Iborra and English referee Michael Oliver pointed to the spot.
Samuel Chukwueze was twice denied by Valencia goalkeeper Neto after the break as Javi Calleja’s side looked to force a winner.
Yet with the clock having reached 90 minutes, Wass produced a sweeping left-footed finish against the run of play to stun the home crowd and give the visitors the advantage.
Guedes then rounded off the scoring with the last kick of the game after Denis Cheryshev — a former Villarreal player — led an electric counter-attack as Marcelino’s side put one foot in the last four.
REUTERS/Reporting by Joseph Cassinelli Editing by Toby Davis