Three La Liga teams qualified for the quarter finals of the Europa League after winning through their ties on Thursday. Athletic Bilbao were up against fellow Spaniards Valencia in Mestalla, and although first half strikes by Santi Mina and Aderlan Santos overturned the one goal lead from the first leg, Aduríz beat Mat Ryan late on to make it 2-1 on the night and take the Basques through on the away goal rule. Villarreal successfully defended their two goal advantage from last week, a 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen seeing them into the last eight. And later in the evening defending champions Sevilla beat Basel 3-0 with an opener from Rami and two on the stroke of half time from Gameiro to book their place as well in tomorrow’s draw. (17.03.16)
Athletic Bilbao qualified for the quarter finals of the Europa League after knocking out fellow Spaniards Valencia on the away goal rule! The Ches quickly cancelled out Athletic’s one goal lead after Rodrigo laid Gayà’s cross back to Negredo, Herrerín keeping out the shot from the striker but unable to prevent Santi Mina from turning in the rebound. And shortly before the interval Aderlan Santos put them in front with a well aimed header from Gayà’s centre. André Gomes and Gayà could have increased the lead either side of half time, but Mat Ryan had to save from Laporte, and with a quarter of an hour to go Raúl García flicked on a De Marcos centre for Aduríz to score his eighth of the competition, the referee waving away claims for a previous hand ball by Susaeta. Gary Neville was sent to the stands for his protests, but his team could still have saved the day had Herrerín not kept out a Paco Alcácer header near the end.
Villarreal successfully defended their two goal advantage from last week’s first leg match, a 0-0 draw at Bayer Leverkusen seeing them into the last eight. Sergio Asenjo was in goal for the first time after a long injury lay-off, and he had to keep out Calhanoglu and Chicharito Hernández before the break. Leno had to come out quickly to prevent Denis Suárez from scoring an important away goal, but Frey went close either side of half time, and Papadopoulos saw his header hit the crossbar after the restart. From then on however the better chances fell to the Spaniards, Bakambu drilling a shot just wide, Leno tipping a Soldado header over the bar and then saving from Adrián, and Ramalho clearing off the line from Trigueros with the keeper beaten. Another good result for Marcelino’s side, and they have their eyes on a bit of silverware this year.
Defendng champions Sevilla are once again in to the quarter finals after a 3-0 victory over Basel on Thursday evening, their 17 th home win in a row in all competitions. After the goal-less draw in the first leg, the Andalusians needed to score, and Gameiro and Krohn-Dehli brought saves out of Vaclik before Rami headed the opener from a Reyes corner. An away goal would still have given the Swiss team the advantage, and Soria had to keep out a header from Rami which almost went in to his own net. However Gameiro scored twice in as many minutes on the stroke of half time to put the game beyond the reach of the visitors, and although Escudero had to clear an effort from Embolo off the line after the break, Llorente could have increased the lead had Vaclik not been on his toes.