By Chris Wright
As if the world’s talent scouts weren’t already aware of his prodigious poaching talents, Porto’s top-scorer Radamel Falcao sent them all home with chattering teeth after coming out after the interval to blitz Villarreal with four second-half goals and leave his side with one foot comfortably entrenched in the Europa League final ahead of next week’s second leg at El Madrigal.
Trailing 1-0 at half-time after an abject defensive performance, Porto stormed back to win 5-1, with Falcao drawing them level from the spot, Freddy Guarin putting them 2-1 up at the second attempt and then the Colombian goal-machine returning to finishing off the rout in the 67th, 75th and 90th minute with an exemplary striker’s ‘hat-trick’.
Falcao is now the competition’s leading scorer with 15, thus equalling Jurgen Klinsmann’s all-time record.
In the night’s other semi-final, Benfica edged out Braga 2-1.