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Villarreal progress to the Europa League quarterfinals

For the fourth time in our history (counting the UEFA Cup), Villarreal is in the final eight of this competition.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Villarreal played a 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen and advanced on aggegate, 2-0, to the next round of the Europa League.  The match was noteworthy for the return of Sergio Asenjo between the sticks, his first competitive action in nearly a year.

Leverkusen dominated possession throughout the match but Villarreal had the best chances to score.  Leverkusen goalkeeper Leno may have played like Jay Leno in the first match, but he made a couple of excellent saves in this one to keep the scores level, though late in the match Manu Trigueros really should have scored into an open goal.  Still, it didn't matter.

Another disappointing performance for Samu Castillejo; Villarreal looked so much better with Trigueros on right wing--Bruno and Pina were solid in the middle and our back four was generally untroubled.  (Chicharito, it must be said, was a non-force in this match for Leverkusen).

Villarreal have been in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup/Europa League three previous times: they were knocked out once (AZ in 2004-05), won twice (Celtic in 2003-04, Twente in 2010-11).

One club which will not be in the final eight draw is Valencia (winners in 2003-04 after defeating Villarreal in the semifinals)l they were knocked out by Athletic Bilbao.  Sparta Prague are also in the quarters after defeating Lazio 3-0 in Italy.