All three Spanish teams, Atletico Madrid, Valencia and Athletic Bilbao successfully go through the next round of Europa League after beating their opponents in the second leg on Thursday.
Atletico added their advantage over Lazio with a 1-0 victory, El Che also doubled their aggregate against Stoke City courtesy of Jonas’ strike, while Bilbao earned an important 1-0 victory thanks to Iker Muniain’s strike.
In Madrid, Atletico didn’t rest on their 3-1 lead from the first leg against Lazio and continue to search for a victory in front of their fans but unfortunately there’s only one goal they managed to score. Diego Godin was the hero at home turf as his header from Gabi’s corner broke the dead lock early in the second half, ensuring the Madrid based outfit’s passage into the next round with a convincing 4-1 aggregate.
Valencia also grabbed another victory and simply confirmed their ticket into the next round after beating English representative, Stoke City, for the second time with another solitary goal. After Mehmet Topal netting the only goal in their away trip, Jonas struck the winning strike for El Che at Mestalla, providing a little bit redemption for the fans after the team’s disappointing display against Barcelona in La Liga.
Meanwhile, a much more dramatic event happened at Basque region when 10 men Bilbao edged out Russian representative, Lokomotiv Moskow, with a single goal from Iker Muniain which was enough to cancel out Lokomotiv’s 2-1 lead in the first leg. Muniain slotted his goal capitalizing Fernando Llorente’s flick on from a corner kick, few minutes after the Spaniard were forced to play with a man down as Fernando Amorebieta sees red.
Earning a 2-2 aggregate, Bilbao advanced thanks to the away goal the grabbed in the first meeting and in a difficult situation all credit should be given for Bielsa’s boys as they earned the goal they were looking for. A pretty good success for Spanish teams as with three teams advancing, there’s a solid chance one of them could really go far in the tournament especially Valencia, who is being considered as one of the favorites in winning the tournament.