Sparta Prague 2-4 Villarreal (agg 3-6): Bakambu shines again as Yellow Submarine sail through

The striker was again the hero for the Spanish side as he grabbed two goals in a routine win in Czech Republic, sending them into the last four of the Europa League.

Cedric Bakambu scored twice as Villarreal earned an exhilarating 4-2 win at Sparta Prague to reach the Europa League semi-finals for the third time in their history.

Bakambu followed up his brace in the first leg at El Madrigal with another double at Generali Arena on Thursday as Villarreal secured a 6-3 aggregate victory.

The forward's fifth-minute opener set the visitors on their way and, although a depleted Sparta responded brightly, two quick-fire goals before half-time essentially ended the hosts' hopes.

After Samuel Castillejo struck home from the edge of the area, a deflected header from Bruno Soriano all but put the tie to bed with 45 minutes still to play.

Bakambu's second of the night arrived in the 49th minute, a neat close-range finish taking the forward's tally in this season's competition to nine goals in 11 appearances.

The hosts restored some pride as Borek Dockal and Ladislav Krejci scored consolation goals, but the task proved too much and Zdenek Scasny's men ended an impressive European campaign with a first home defeat in 18 matches across all competitions.

Villarreal made the early breakthrough when Bakambu finished clinically from Manu Trigueros' wonderful defence-splitting through-ball.

Sparta attempted to muster a quick response and Dockal tested Villarreal goalkeeper Alphonse Areola with a left-footed drive.

Dockal then opted to shoot from a tight angle on the right when caught between going for goal and finding a team-mate, succeeding only in firing his effort beyond the far post to let the visitors off the hook.

Krejci missed Sparta's best first-half chance, though, with the winger side-footing wide after his late run was picked out brilliantly from Kehinde Fatai's cross.

Villarreal made Sparta pay for their profligacy as two goals in three minutes shortly before the break put Marcelino's men in the driving seat.

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