Bilbao's Europa League journey nearly over

Syndicated from IANS | Published on Fri, Nov 9 2012 15:15 IST | 1 Views | Add comment
Madrid, Nov 9

Athletic Club Bilbao need a miracle if they are to qualify for the last 32 of the Europa League football. They suffered a 2-3 home defeat against Olympique Lyon.

The French side took a 2-0 lead in the first half Thursday thanks to goals from Bafetimi Gomis and Yohann Gourcuff, although the lead was due partly to Lyon keeper Remi Yercoutre, who made a pair of fine saves to deny Ander Herrera and Oscar de Marcos, Xinhua reports.

Athletic came out for the second half looking to get back on level terms and pulled a goal back quickly through Ander Herrera, who fired home from close range.

Aritz Aduriz continued his run of scoring from the penalty spot nine minutes into the second half and the home side looked capable of turning the result around.

However, an error from Iker Muniain eight minutes later allowed Alexandre Lacazette to score Lyon's third and that was a moral blow for Bilbao who were unable to recover from the goal and looked tired in the finishing minutes.

They need to win their next two games, while hoping Sparta Prague lose both of theirs to have any chance of progressing.

Elsewhere Wilson Eduardo scored for Academica Coimbra after 28 minutes and doubled his side's lead after 69 minutes to assure the points against an Atletico Madrid filled with substitutes and without the presence of star striker Radamel Falcao who has habitually been rested in Europa League matches.

It was Atletico Madrid's first defeat in 16 European games -- a run which has seen them win both the Europa League and the European Supercup in recent months.

Meanwhile Levante drew 0-0 away to FC Twente, a result which edges the side closer to the knockout stage of the competition.

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