Radamel Falcao scored a hat trick as FC Porto thrashed Spartak Moscow 5-1 on Thursday to control its Europa League quarterfinal after one leg.
After half an hour of toe-to-toe play, the Columbian striker opened the scoring with a headed goal in the 37th minute.
Silvestre Varela and Maicon added to the recently crowned Portuguese champion's advantage at their home Dragao Stadium early in the second half.
Kirill Kombarov scored an away goal for Spartak in the 71st before Falcao restored the three-goal advantage in the 84th. And he took his competition-high goal tally to 10 with a second headed goal in injury time.
"I am definitely the only one to blame," Spartak head coach Valery Karpin said after the game. "A coach is always to blame when his team loses. [The Club's] shareholders will decide what to do about this."
He stressed that his team only played well in the first half.
"We played well and on a level footing with the opponent in the first 20-25 minutes. We had some good combinations but unfortunately did not score. After that the team stalled for some reason," Karpin added.
The return leg is in Moscow next Thursday with the winner looking likely to play Villarreal, which routed FC Twente 5-1.
In the other quarterfinals, Dynamo Kiev couldn’t outplay Braga at home, 1-1, while yet another Portuguese side, Benfica, didn’t leave PSV a chance by winning 4-1.
By posting your comment, you agree to abide by our Posting rules