Villarreal hosted Dinamo Zagreb this evening at La Ceramica in the second leg of their Europa League quarter final. They went into the game with a narrow 1-0 advantage from the first leg in Croatia, a result they secured through a 44th minute penalty from the man of the moment, Gerard Moreno.
Villarreal overcame Sivasspor, Qarabag FK, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, RB Salzburg and Dynamo Kyiv to get this far. Dinamo overcame Feyenoord, CSKA Moscow, Wolfsberg, Krasnodar and, most recently and most famously, Tottenham Hotspur. They came into the competition after failing to qualify for the Champions League group stage.
Villarreal are hungry for trophies, and had been tipped by many at the beginning of the season to prioritise the Europa League over La Liga. Now they’re in the business end of the season and in the moments that matter, something Unai Emery, a specialist in this competition having won it three times, knows all about. His men certainly got off to a good start. Paco Alcacer put the hosts into the lead in the 36th minute, before the lethal Moreno doubled their advantage in the 43rd. Dinamo pulled one back in the 74th, however, through a golazo from Mislav Orsic.