UEFA cup, league stage day 5
All four Spanish sides made it through to the third round, Athletic Bilbao and Zaragoza getting the results they needed on Thursday to join Sevilla and Villarreal in Friday's draw. Reigning UEFA cup champions Valencia will also enter the competition at this stage after they could only finish third in their Champions League group a few days ago.
No doubt the most spectacular result of the competition to date though was Athletic Bilbao's 1-7 thrashing of Belgium's Standard Liège, taking them to the top of their group. Ezquerro scored a hat-trick and there were goals too for Yeste, Del Horno, Etxeberría and also Iraola, who missed a penalty with the scores at 1-2 but converted another later in the game. Onyewu got the consolation goal for the locals.
Zaragoza had a much harder battle against their Belgian opponents Club Brugge, but in the end a 1-1 draw was enough to see them through in second spot in their group. Savio gave Víctor Muñoz's side the lead just before the break, but Ceh equalised after the restart and they had to defend ferociously for the last few minutes, even though Brugge were down to ten men by then.(16.12.04)
The two Spanish sides who kicked off the fifth day on Wednesday were already qualified for the next round, but wanted to avoid second place in their respective groups in order not to be drawn against clubs dropping out of the Champions League. However they failed to achieve their objectives, and now have to hope that Friday's draw isn't too hard on them.
Villarreal beat the bottom team in their group Egaleo 4-0, but a victory by Middlesbrough over Partizan Belgrade in the other group match meant they missed out on top spot. Héctor Font and Guayre gave them a comfortable lead by the break, and Javi Venta and Cazorla rounded things off after the restart.
Sevilla only needed to draw at Lille to be first in their group, but Caparrós took a risk by putting out a weakened side in order to rest some of his key players for Sunday's derby game against Betis, and ended up paying the price after losing 1-0. Moussilou got the only goal a quarter of an hour from the end. (15.12.04)