Falcao hat trick leads Porto's 5-1 rout of Spartak
Radamel Falcao scored a hat trick as FC Porto routed Spartak Moscow 5-1 on Thursday to control its Europa League quarterfinal after one leg.
The Colombia striker opened the scoring with a headed goal in the 37th minute before Silvestre Varela and Maicon added to the recently crowned Portuguese champion's advantage at its Dragon Stadium.
Kirill Kombarov scored an away goal for Spartak in the 71st before Falcao restored the three-goal advantage in the 84th. He took his competition-high goal tally to 10 with a second headed goal in injury time.
The return leg is in Moscow next Thursday with the winner looking likely to play Villarreal, which routed FC Twente 5-1.
Porto won 2-1 at Benfica on Sunday for its fifth league trophy in six seasons. While showing some of the sluggish effects from those celebrations in the first half, Falcao erased any doubts with his well-struck opener.
The Colombian sneaked in behind the defense at the far post to ground Alvaro Pereira's skipping cross back across the area and into goal.
Porto played with less tension after getting ahead, led mostly by Hulk's power and pace along the right flank and Falcao's work inside the area. The Brazilian forward found Falcao inside the area with a long pass in the 64th and the Colombian chested it down onto the path of Varela to volley past Dykan for 2-0.
Dykan got a leg to Maicon's header in the 70th but the ball bounced off Dmitri Kombarov to cross the line for Porto's third.
Spartak, which threatened early on through Alex and Willian, finally found the back of the net when Artem Dzyuba gathered a poorly cleared ball to find Kirill Kombarov at the far side of the area, and the Russian midfielder struck past Helton.
But the 2003 UEFA Cup champion put one foot into the semifinal when Falcao left two defenders behind to redirect Rodriguez's cross into the box past Dykan, who was left alone with Falcao again just after the start of injury time to turn Fernando Belluschi's in-siwinging free kick into the net.