Villarreal defeated Slavia Prague 2-0 to move atop Group A with 8 points. Carlos Bacca gave Villarreal an early lead, but for all its domination, it took a late own goal to assure the points. And while the Submarine controlled the match for long stretches, Mariano Barbosa made a couple of key saves to keep the Czech side off the scoreboard—he was Whoscored’s man of the match.
Highlights are here.
Astana won at Maccabi Tel Aviv, 1-0 and move to second place. A Villarreal win at Astana next round would guarantee us qualification, and almost certainly first in the group; a draw would likely be sufficient unless Slavia defeat Maccabi; while a Villarreal loss would give Astana the group lead. We’d still qualify if Slavia loses, though. And regardless, we have a home match against already-eliminated Maccabi to finish with.
Now we look ahead to Malaga this Sunday, though without Samu Castillejo, who was injured in training in Prague and is likely to be out a couple of weeks. Endavant!