Villarreal are out of the Europa League. 4-1 on aggregate after defeating Roma 1-0 at the Olympic Stadium today. Roma were clearly playing to defend their 4-0 lead, while Villarreal played a lot of backups with an eye to Real Madrid’s visit on Sunday.
The only goal of the match came from Santos Borré in the 15th minute. He had other chances to add to the tally, as did Roberto Soriano and others, but Allyson in the Roma net made a number of fine saves. Roma were content to let the clock wind down, especially as one of their players was dismissed with about 10 minutes left for a second yellow.
The best news was the return of Roberto Soldado. He played 65 minutes and looked quite good. It won’t be a match that will live long in Villarreal history, but it was good to win and go out with heads held high.
If Celta Vigo don’t get past Shaktar Donetsk, this will be the first time since 2008 that no Spanish team has made the final 16 in this competition. And the previous time before that was 1990! There are of course still 4 Spanish clubs active in the Champions League.