Two goals in the space of three minutes late on ensured Villarreal’s Europa League campaign got off to a winning start against Kazakhstani outfit Astana.
Nicola Sansone gave the Yellow Submarine the lead in the 16th minute but Fran Escriba’s side failed to push on and a powering Yuri Logvinenko header levelled the match midway through the second half.
However, two substitutions changed the game as Cedric Bakambu – introduced only five minutes earlier – scored a wonderful individual goal to restore the home side’s lead.
Two minutes later and Denis Cheryshev, another introduction and making his first appearance in ten months, wrapped up the points with a close-range finish.
Group A’s other match saw Slavia Prague defeat Maccabi Tel Aviv 1-0.