Marcelino: We deserve the semi-finals

Villarreal manager Marcelino Garcia Toral was pleased to see his team through to the Europa League semi-finals with a 4-2 win over Sparta Prague at Generali Arena on Thursday.

The Yellow Submarine already lead 2-1 from the first leg at El Madrigal, and were three goals up at half-time thanks to Cedric Bakambu, Samu Castillejo, and Bruno Soriano.

Bakambu then had his brace early in the second half before Borek Dockal and Ladislav Krejcí struck for the Czech side, leaving the aggregate score 6-3 to the Spaniards.

"We are deserved semi-finalists," Marcelino said. "We're really pleased and satisfied with the way we got through to the next round, as many times, even though you're the favourite this sometimes doesn't show in the result of the match.

"In this match we were really clinical, completely opposite to the first leg. We went into the game with character and ended up with a convincing victory that means we can now start dreaming about getting to the Final.

"The team is in a good place, fitness wise, and we just keep improving. We can't forget that only three years ago we were in the Second Division. But we've all worked so hard, been top professionals and come together as a group to get where we are now. Only two steps to go now.

"To play in a final is not something that happens much in life and we have to make the most of it. We are only thinking about getting to the final, but without giving up anything.

"Let's see if we can get to the Final now. Villarreal has spent many years fighting for a prize like this, the chance to win a title and then to fight to achieve it."