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Europa League wrap: Portuguese dominate semis line-up

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 15 Apr 2011

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FC Porto have eased into the Europa League semi-finals after crushing Spartak Moscow 10-3 on aggregate in the quarter-finals.

After taking out the first clash in Lisbon 5-1, the Portugese outfit continued their romp in the return fixture, winning 5-2 in the Russian capital.

Porto got off to a flying start thanks to three unanswered goals from Hulk, Cristian Rodriguez and Fredy Guarin in the first hour.

Artem Dzjuba scored on the other end for Spartak before a headed effort from Colombian Radamel Falcao restored Porto’s three goal cushion.

Ferreire Ari responded with Spartak’s second of the night, but Ruben Micael had the final say as he rounded off the scoring and the resounding victory for the recently-crowned Liga Sagres champions.

Awaiting them at the next stage will be Villarreal, who are the only non-Portuguese side to reach the semi-finals.

The Spaniards resoundingly defeated Dutch champions FC Twente 8-2 on aggregate following a 3-1 win in the second leg in Holland.

Emir Bajrami’s 32nd minute opener had Twente in with a chance of getting themselves back into the tie, but Dwight Tiendalli’s dismissal just before the hour mark signalled the end for Michel Preud’homme’s side.

Villarreal capitalised almost immediately on their advantage, with Giuseppe Rossi, Marco Ruben and Cani all scoring in the final half hour to seal a comfortable win.

Elsewhere, PSV Eindhoven crashed out of the competition after their 2-2 draw against Benfica was not enough to overcome a 4-1 deficit from the first leg.

Goals to Balazs Dzsudzsak and Jeremain Lens within eight first-half minutes and PSV had moved within striking distance, but a goal from Luisao deep into first-half injury time and a penalty from Oscar Cardozo 18 minutes after the interval put an end to the Dutch comeback.

Benfica’s semi-finals opponents will be fellow Liga Sagres outfit Braga, whose 0-0 draw at home to Dynamo Kiev saw them through to the last four on away goals following their 1-1 tie in Ukraine last week.

Both sides finished the second leg with 10 men, with Braga’s Paulo Cesar and Dynamo’s Goran Popov both receiving their marching orders.

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