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Football: Rossi class shines through as Villarreal progress

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23 Aug 2011 22:30:12

Football: Rossi class shines through as Villarreal progress

Giuseppe Rossi showed why he is one of Europe's most-coveted strikers with a second-half double to set Villarreal on their way to a 3-0 win over Odense - for a 3-1 aggregate victory - and a place in the Champions League group stages here on Tuesday.

The Spanish side must have been beginning to wonder where a goal was going to come from as Stefan Wessels saved everything that came his way until five minutes into the second half, when Rossi stabbed home a low Nilmar cross.

That goal cancelled out Hans-Henrik Andreasen's strike which had given Odense the narrowest of first-leg leads, and was the least Villarreal deserved for their domination of the tie.

The spectators at the El Madrigal was on it's feet again midway through the second half when a wonderful cross from deep on the right flank from Cani was met by Rossi, leaving Wessels with no chance to put Villarreal 2-0 up on the night.

Odense knew that an away goal would still swing the tie back in their favour, but their hopes were dealt a huge blow when Bashkim Kadrii was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Numerical parity was restored when Scottish referee Craig Thomson showed a red card to Borja Valero for a retaliatory headbutt on Andreas Johansson, but Villarreal put the outcome of the tie beyond doubt when substitute Carlos Marchena's shot was fumbled over the line by Wessels.

That sealed victory for Juan Carlos Garrido's side, who join Barcelona, Real Madrid and Valencia as Spain's representatives in Friday's draw for the group stages.

Last season's Danish league runners-up Odense had fought gamely to win 1-0 on home soil six days ago, but they never troubled Villarreal 'keeper Diego Lopez, and it always seemed only a matter of time before the hosts found a breakthrough.

Playing with just three recognised defenders, and with summer signing Javier Camunas making his debut on the right wing, Villarreal went for the jugular straight away.

Rossi saw an early effort sneak past Wessels' left-hand upright, while Valero saw another strike turned around the post.

Former Bayern Munich and Everton stopper Wessels then produced a fine double save to deny Camunas and Rossi as half-time approached, and Camunas turned and cracked another strike off the bar moments after the restart.

But Rossi's brace and Marchena's late counter ensure that the Yellow Submarine return to the group stage for the third time, while Odense have the consolation of a place in the Europa League group stage.


AFP

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