Porto, Villarreal and Benfica all won easily at home to open their Europa League quarterfinals, while Braga tied 1-1 at 10-man Dynamo Kiev.
Falcao scored three goals last night as Porto, the favorite with U.K. bookmakers to win European soccer’s second-tier club competition, routed Spartak Moscow 5-1 at home. Villarreal also won 5-1 over FC Twente behind two goals from Nilmar, while Eduardo Salvio scored twice in Benfica’s 4-1 victory over PSV Eindhoven.
Falcao’s hat trick at the Estadio do Dragao gave him the competition’s scoring lead with 10 goals, one more than Villarreal’s Giuseppe Rossi. Silvestre Varela and Maicon added goals for Porto, while Kirill Kombarov scored for Spartak.
Villarreal also got goals Rossi, Carlos Marchena and Borja Valero at Estadio El Madrigal in matching the club record for biggest win in European competition. Marc Janko’s goal in second-half stoppage time prevented Twente from suffering its biggest European loss.
Salvio scored twice over a six-minute span of the first and second halves to lead Benfica at the Estadio da Luz. Pablo Aimar and Javier Saviola also scored in the win, while Zakaria Labyad had the PSV goal.
Oleg Gusev’s own-goal earned Braga, the third Portuguese team in the final eight, the draw in Ukraine. Andriy Yarmolenko scored for Dynamo Kiev, which had Andriy Shevchenko sent off after getting two yellow cards in the second half.
The teams will meet April 14 in the final piece of the quarterfinals. The final is in Dublin on May 18.