Villareal need a miracle comeback


UEFA CUP SEMI-FINALS: Villareal (1) v FC Porto (5):VILLARREAL WILL tonight attempt to become only the fourth team to overturn a four-goal first-leg deficit in European competition and the first since Real Madrid against Borussia Moenchengladbach in the 1985/86 Uefa Cup.

However, Porto’s record of seven wins in seven away games in the Europa League this season makes that challenge in tonight’s semi-final a huge task.

Porto’s Colombian striker Radamel Falcao has levelled Jürgen Klinsmann’s record haul of 15 goals for the former Uefa Cup, thanks to his four-goal performance in last week’s first leg.

If ever the term “a game of two halves” was appropriate it was for the first leg in Portugal. Villarreal bossed the Europa League favourites Porto for 45 minutes only to be stunned with a five-goal riposte in the second half. A 5-1 advantage as good as ensures Porto will reach their first European final since their Champions League triumph in 2004.

Villarreal need a miracle if they are to join the list of recent Spanish winners of Europe’s second club competition. At home, they are formidable, losing just three times in the previous 37 games. Only Barcelona (twice) and Levante have beaten Villarreal on the road since February 2010.