Villarreal picked up three points in their Europa League group with a 4-0 victory over Dinamo Minsk in a match that was as one-sided as the score suggests. Minsk offered little in attack, and their defense was frequently turned inside-out by clever Villarreal combinations.
Cedric Bakambu scored twice in the first half, but was injured in between and was substituted at halftime. Roberto Soldado had a chance to add a third, fluffed his lines, but minutes later scored a much harder chance to give the Submarine a 3-0 lead on the hour mark, and ten minutes later Eric Bailly finished off a fine counterattack with a tap-in at the far post.
It was a good match for players like Denis Suarez, Samu Garcia, Jona dos Santos, Antonio Rukavina--players who had not seen a lot of minutes in la Liga-- to shine, and so they did. Goalkeeper Barbosa was hardly troubled, but did make one fine save near the end of the match. Soldado could have had a fifth and was whistled back for an incorrect offside when he surely would have been in again, but it hardly mattered.
The only area of concern will be Bakambu and whether he is fit for Sunday; hopefully so.
So now we know Minsk are clearly the worst team in the group; jury is still out on which of Rapid Wien or Viktoria Plzen are better. Plzen lost today at Wien, 3-2, so next matchday they will host the Austrians in a must-win game, as at the moment Rapid have 9 points, Villarreal 6 and Plzen 3. Villarreal will travel to Minsk, and surely they will offer more at home than they did today. Endavant Villarreal!