AC Sparta Praha

Not giving up

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14. 4. 2016 | 23:54 back to news

Sparta lost 2-4 in their home clash with Villarreal and are eliminated from the Europa League. However, they played great in certain stages of the match and didn’t give up against a strong opponent.

Zdeněk Ščasný didn’t have many options when putting the starting line-up together. Lukáš Mareček had to start as a centre back, Kehinde Fatai returned as well. Lukáš Vácha recovered enough to start on the bench as well as a couple of talented, but not experienced young guns.

Sold out Letná stadium was silenced only five minutes into the match, as Bakambu found a brilliant pass by Trigueros behind Sparta’s defence line and beat Bičík to give Villarreal the lead.

Sparta did not give up and started to be more and more dangerous Boček Dočkal had three good opportunities, but missed twice and then got denied by Aréola in Villarreal’s goal. Ladislav Krejčí failed in Sparta’s biggest chance of the first half, firing wide after Konaté’s pass in the box.

At the end of the first half, Villarreal showed their strength, scoring twice and solving the riddle of the double-header. Castillejo gave Bičík no chance with his shot from the edge of the box, and Lafata the redirected Bruno Soriano’s header past Bičík.

The situation got even worse in the second half, as Bakambu – unmarked in the box – had no trouble with scoring his second and giving Villarreal a 4-0 lead.

However, Sparta did a tremendous job once again and put Villarreal under a pressure, which resulted in two strikes – first, Dočkal fired from the similar position as Castillejo in the first half and scored Sparta’s second. Minutes later, Juliš crossed the ball and Krejčí netted it to set the final score.

Against a strong opponent, Sparta fought back hard and despite the elimination, the quarterfinals are a huge success this season.

 

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AC Sparta Praha - Villarreal CF 2-4 (0-3)

Goals: 65' Dočkal, 71' Krejčí - 5', 49' Bakambu, 43' Castillejo, 45' Lafata OG
Bookings: Krejčí, Frýdek, Juliš, Kováč, Konaté, Lafata - Soldado, Castillejo.

Line-ups:
Sparta:
Bičík - Konaté, Mareček, Kováč, Frýdek - Fatai, Matějovský, Dočkal, Krejčí - Lafata, Juliš.
Villarreal: Aréola - Mario Gaspar (56' Jaume Costa), Bailly, Víctor Ruiz, Rukavina - Suárez (66' Baptistao), Trigueros (61' Dos Santos), Bruno Soriano, Castillejo - Soldado, Bakambu.

Match officials: Atkinson - Mullarkey, Child - Oliver, Pawson.
Attendance: 18201.

 

 

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