Valencia edge Bremen thriller
A David Villa hat-trick helped Valencia dump Werder Bremen out of the Europa League after a 4-4 draw.
By Jamie Casey
Last Updated: 18/03/10 8:27pm
A David Villa hat-trick helped Valencia through to the Europa League quarter-finals on away goals after a pulsating 4-4 draw with Werder Bremen in the Weserstadion.
With the sides tied at 1-1 from the first leg, Villa got the Spaniards off to a perfect start by cancelling out Bremen's away goal with one of their own after just two minutes.
After only a quarter of an hour, Juan Mata had doubled Valencia's advantage to seemingly put the away side in control of tie.
However, first-half substitute Hugo Almeida got the Germans back in it briefly before Villa's second on the stroke of half-time restored Valencia's two-goal cushion.
A penalty from Bremen captain Torsten Frings once again kept the hosts within sight of Valencia before Marko Marin made the score 3-3 on the night with 62 minutes on the clock.
The goal gave the Bundesliga outfit renewed optimism but, needing just one goal to go ahead in the tie, Villa shot the Germans down as he completed his hat-trick with an emphatic finish just three minutes later.
There was still time for a nervy finish as Claudio Pizarro evened up the score once more on the night with a header six minutes from time.
Valencia looked tired amid a frantic last push from Bremen, but the Primera Liga giants duly hung on to make the last eight of the competition.