Chukwueze bags assist as Villarreal beat Dinamo Zagreb to advance into Europa League semi-finals

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Samuel Chukwueze provided an assist as Villarreal secured a 2-1 victory over Dinamo Zagreb in their second leg quarter-final in the Europa League on Thursday night. 

The victory ensured Unai Emery’s men advanced into the semi-finals of the competition 3-1 on 3-1 aggregate.

The 21-year-old was handed a starting role in the encounter, forming a three-man attack for the Yellow Submarine along with Paco Alcacer and Gerard Moreno.

The Nigeria international made a key contribution in the encounter to help his side return to winning ways after losing against Osasuna in their last league game.

Villarreal dominated the first half of the game and came close to opening the scoring a number of times before eventually breaking the deadlock in the 36th minute.

Chukwueze found Alcacer with a fine pass and the forward controlled the ball before firing his effort into the back of the net, beyond the reach of goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic.

Moments before the half-time break, Moreno doubled the lead for the Yellow Submarine with a well-taken effort after pouncing on a loose ball.

Dinamo Zagreb made several attempts to try and reduce the deficit after the restart of the second half.

Damir Krznar’s men pulled one back in the 74th minute through Mislav Orsic after he was set up by Bruno Petkovic.

Villarreal, however, managed to hold on to their lead to secure the victory which ensured they advance into the semi-finals.

Chukwueze featured for 90 minutes, struck six shots, with two on target, made two key passes, completed six dribbles - the most from any player in the game - before making way for Ruben Pena.

The Super Eagles winger has now made 33 appearances across all competitions for the Yellow Submarine this season, scoring two goals and providing six assists.

He will hope to continue his impressive performances for Villarreal in their next league game against Levante on Sunday.

Chukwueze broke into the Yellow Submarine’s first team in 2018 and has continued to deliver impressive showings for the club.

The winger is also a significant member of the Nigeria national team and has 19 caps for the West African side.

He was part of Gernot Rohr’s squad that recently qualified for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

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