Europa League

Zilina 3 - Athletic Bilbao 2

Zilina: Volesak; Mabouka (William 55’), Vavro, Skriniar, Letic; Kacer, Pecovsky, Benes (Skvarka 87’); Paur, Jelic, Cmelík (Mihalik 72’). 4-3-3.
Athletic: Herrerín; Bóveda, Gurpegi, Laporte, Lekue; Elustondo, Mikel Rico (Beñat 69’); Sabin (Iñaki Williams 73’, De Marcos 81’), Aketxe, Ibai Gómez; Kike Sola. 4-2-3-1.

0-1. 17. Sabin. Picked up Ibai Gómez pass and fired shot underneath Volesak.
0-2. 32. Kike Sola. Intercepted bad Pecovsky pass and turned shot past keeper.
1-2. 65. Paur. Shot from outside of area which deflected in off Lekue & Laporte.
2-2. 77. William. Ran through on quick breakaway to round Herrerín and score.
3-2. 93. William. Scrambled ball into net after corner came over to him in area.

Athletic Bilbao’s place in the Europa League is in jeopardy after they were beaten 3-2 by Zilina in the first leg of the qualifying round, although the two away goals gives them hope for a turnaround in the San Mamés stadium next week. Just three days ago the Basque side were celebrating their Super Cup victory over Barcelona, and Valverde made eight changes to the line up he used in that match. For a while it seemed to pay off, Sabin opening the scoring early on with a shot under the keeper, and Kike Sola adding the second after intercepting a bad pass by Pecovsky with just over half an hour gone. However the Slovakian team came back after the restart, Paur beating Herrerín with a shot from outside of the area which took a deflection off two defenders, and substitute William running through to level the scores with a quarter of an hour to go. Valverde turned to Iñaki Williams, but the youngster only lasted eight minutes before aggravating an old injury when firing a shot just wide of the mark, and with the game in the fourth minute of injury time William scrambled home the winner after a corner fell to him in front of goal.